MONA – Museum of Old and New Art!
Lets talk about the building first. The story behind this world class Museum/Art Gallery is very interesting. Controversial owner David Walsh grew up dreaming of the white house on the hill opposite his home. Years later he bought the house and surrounding lands to build an art museum.
The white house remains an integral part of MONA, the building. See top right hand side of image. Image courtesy of Tourism Tasmania.
Did I say controversial? David Walsh made his money from gambling!His Asperger’s-like tendencies was a gift of sorts. Apparently he could count cards at casinos and later developed a gambling system to bet on horses.
Whether you agree or not how he made his money, what he has done for Tasmania is astounding. MONA is free entry for all Tasmanians and employs many, making it one of the top tourist destinations in Tasmania.
Ok, lets look at the building and I’ll show you where David Walsh lives! (not many know this snippet).
It is all underground, cut into the sandstone. It is a brilliant piece of artwork in itself! I was mesmerised for hours at the beautiful architecture.
Entry and views from the walkway looking down at the bar.
The raw cut walls of sandstone reminded me large chunks of warm coloured honeycomb over three levels. This is where you see the enormity of the building.
The central staircase seemingly suspends in mid air. You wonder about its engineering.
When you enter MONA along the walkway and down the stairs, you will see the Sidney Nolan artwork The Snake. Look up at the ceiling and you will see two glass panels.
This is David’s home – right in the art museum! You can see the furniture and if you are lucky, you may see David!
I have to say that all the staff I spoke to had kind and positive words about the ‘controversial’ owner of MONA.