Meetings and MONA

After a quiet afternoon yesterday in Dunalley, we headed to a little spot past Dodges Ferry for dinner and an annual general meeting of the Tasmania Regional Arts group. Mostly just the board members showed up.

The evening events were held at a local eatery recently taken over by a young couple. They’ve done a great amount of work to turn the restaurant/hotel around. I had the deep fried scallops with fresh steamed veggies and ‘chips’ – thick French fries. Best scallops I’ve ever had!

The group held the AGM in a room adjacent to the bar/dining area that will eventually be fixed into a small banquet/reception spot. The owners are also hoping to use it for exhibit space – and the arts group really likes that idea.

Being an AGM, voting for board positions was in order. As with any group anywhere in the world, there are personality clashes, differences of opinions, and the desire to do what is best for the group. It was an amazing process to observe as that last point (keeping the group’s best interest at heart) is what won out. The meeting ended with all positions filled and a group-wide resolve to get more members involved with the running of the organization.

As an obvious non-member, I was introduced as a visiting fiber artist and given a bit of time to do some show and tell of my work. We set up a project for Saturday – will tell about it when it happens!

Got home later – we closed up the restaurant! – and topped off the evening with a bit of Drambui around midnight. Pleasant dreams for sure!

Today was a full day at MONA – Museum of Old and New Art – a brand new museum on a spit of land jutting out into the bay in front of Hobart. The owner, David Walsh (I think I got his name right) is a very successful gambler and art collector. He has used his own funds to create this incredible space – I almost think the space/building is more worth seeing than his art. The place is free and open to the public and he plans on changing the exhibits every 6 months. We heard that what is on display is 1/5th of his collection.

MONA uses a really cool system. No labels on the wall, a mixture of large open spaces/moveable walls/permanent plinths, sufficient lighting but not tons by any means. You tour the place with an Ipod in hand and earphones. All the art is loaded into the Ipod – you do a GPS sort of thing to find where you are in the museum and it then shows you what pieces of art are in the area to see. When you touch on any piece, you get detailed info about the art/artist, sometimes some personal comments from the owner, sometimes some audio interviews. It saves your ‘tour’ and, if you enter your email address, will then send you all the pics of the pieces you saw.

When the owner was making plans for his museum, the powers that be said he couldn’t build up as it would radically change the skyline of the area. So, he built down three stories – into and through the bed of limestone under a simple Mediterranean style home that came with the property (along with a vineyard and brewery). The limestone is visible as major inside walls. Lots of rusted steel on the outside while the inside is full of clean/clear lines and tons of technology.

Too much to see in one visit, there are some pieces that stand out – and I won’t remember the names of work or artists until I have a chance to go through my tour pics.

The video being shown on the floor of a busy crosswalk in some downtown area – people waiting for the lights, crossing the streets, moving around, cars stopping and starting… all of this in faster than normal speed while a giant human hand moves about seeming to help the people get about and keeping them safe from traffic. Sort of like the hand of God.

The two story waterfall in front of the limestone wall which created words with the sprays of water falling down.

The cube within a cube within a cube – all black with floor lighting along the edges of the raised path around the cubes – the story of Gilgamesh told on all the surfaces of the cubes in digital code (0s and 1s) – and an overhead mirror in the last cube so that it looks like you are seeing yourself suspended in air upside down when you look up.

The life sized sculpture of a suicide bomber’s head and torso made of dark chocolate – as it ages the surface of the chocolate changes as the oils surface.

Tons more cool stuff (although a lot of it has a dark side to it) – will write about them as I have time.

We came home exhausted – so much stimulation! – so had dinner at the Golf Club (neither Di or Chris play golf, but there is a social club aspect to this that most folks in the area belong to) – sweet and sour chicken on a bed of rice. Lunch had been at the MONA café – tomato and bacon and egg pie (not quite a quiche but sort of…).

Truly tuckered out (although that phrase likely means that I’ve eaten more than I should – tucker means food) and heading for bed. Another busy day tomorrow.

Ed.: pics from MONA now online.

4 Replies to “Meetings and MONA”

  1. MONA sounds really cool. Glad you got some rest the day before because this day was really full! Take care!

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