If you’re planning a trip to Hobart (Tasmania) anytime soon, one of the first places to add to your itinerary is The Museum of Old and New Art (MONA).
This art museum will certainly make an impression and have you scratching your head for days to come.
Located within the Moorilla winery on the Berriedale peninsula in Hobart, MONA is the largest privately funded museum in Australia. It will take you roughly 25 minutes to get there from Hobart’s city centre – either via the MONA Ferry or via the Metro bus.
We decided to head there right in the middle of MONA FOMA (MOFO) – an annual festival of music and art curated by Violent Femmes’ Brian Ritchie. It was the perfect opportunity to check out the visuals while receiving an aural assault at the same time.
But be warned: walking through the museum may be quite confronting for some. In one section, you will find the self-explanatory Great Wall of Vagina’s – sculptures using plaster casts of lady bits. Some of the art is certainly for “adults only” with a strong focus on sex and death. We could overhear murmurs of “amazing” and “weird” all at the same time – each person will no doubt get something different out of it. Respected travel guide, Lonely Planet, even rates it as the world’s best gallery of modern art so it is certainly worth checking out.
On the day we attended, we got to see an extreme assortment of musical acts as part of MOFO – Archie Roach, DJ Z-Trip, Circuit des Yeux, Rainbow Chan, Danny Healy Trio, and Okkyung Lee – we could not imagine any other music festival hosting such diversity. But the highlight that day was tētēma – the collaborative effort from local composer Anthony Pateras and musical genius, Mike Patton.
For their debut live performance, the duo were joined by percussionist Will Guthrie and violinist Erkki Veltheim while local trumpeter Scott Tinkler also performed on some pieces. The group blitzed through a large chunk of material from debut album Geocidal but also surprised die-hard fans with new material for this one-off show. The unique soundscapes entertained yet challenged at the same time – just what you’d expect from any show Mike Patton is a part of.
If you haven’t already, make plans to head over to MONA now. Go there in January to witness MOFO or see it any other time of year – it’s an experience you won’t forget in a hurry.
MONA: 655 Main Rd, Berriedale, Tasmania