Are you planning to visit Hobart and greater Tasmania? Are you intending to study, work or live in the island state? Check out the wonderful museums and galleries in Tasmania and you’ll find there’s plenty to keep you busy and interested.
Since MONA (Museum of Old and New Art) made its entrance on the cultural scene in Hobart in 2011, it’s made quite a spectacle of itself. Both a gallery and a museum, it does it all exceptionally well, and provides an outstanding space for Tasmanians to be proud of. As a venue, it’s a standout, a unique and popular choice for weddings, corporate functions and fancy parties. As a gallery/museum, it draws mixed reviews from one end to the other.
It often offends, always sparks a conversation and never shies away from controversy. What do you call a museum that has its very own digestive system? MONA has a ‘poo machine’ that takes in food scraps from the café, processes them through a series of hanging vessels connected via tubing and at the other – very smelly – end, something very like poo is extruded.
The fact that there are nearly 6,000 reviews on TripAdvisor should tell you something about the provocative nature of the museum.
MONA’s eccentric owner, David Walsh is a professional gambler, businessman and art collector. The permanent exhibition is, essentially, his very own private collection. It’s eclectic, nonsensical, whimsical and a little difficult to comprehend. There’s a gigantic Sidney Nolan masterpiece, ‘Snake’, the famous Arthur Boyd painting ‘Melbourne Burning’, exquisite sculptures, plaster casts of female anatomy, pop culture items, drawings, sketches, and an endless array of other thought-provoking, confronting and even disturbing displays.
Visiting exhibitions are often not what you would expect to see in any ‘usual’ art gallery or museum. Take the kids but provide plenty of parental supervision. MONA is not your average attraction. Open Wednesday to Monday 10am to 5pm. Closed Christmas Day and most Tuesdays.
Catch your breath and allow yourself to consider other art galleries in Tasmania. Though less provocative, they are every bit as worthwhile to visit.
The genius ARTBIKES program is a free bike borrowing service for art lovers. With more and more cultural attractions popping up around the Bellerive vicinity, hopping on a bike and cruising around to visit them is a dream day. You’ll receive a helmet, lock and a cultural map to point you in the right direction. Get along to Rosny Barn at Rosny Farm on the eastern shore of Hobart. Available Wednesday to Sunday 11am to 4.30pm. Take a drive out to the D’Entrecasteaux Channel in southern Tasmania. The views on the way are gorgeous and the museum is a lovely day out. Open daily 10am to 4pm. Closed major public holidays, entry is free.