OH just LOOK how pretty Hobart is!  Cute houses everywhere you look, water and boats and blue skies (gorgeous weather not guaranteed!) These pics by me.

OK so this week is a bit of a first for The Design Files – it’s a whole week of posts inspired by my recent trip to TASMANIA!  I figured, since everyone and their dog is talking about visiting MONA (AND YOU ABSOLUTELY MUST GO before the current exhibition ends in July!), that it would be useful to highlight a few other lovely Tassie-based happenings for you to check out if and when you visit!

SO I hope you enjoy your virtual holiday in Hobart this week!  You’ll be treated to a unique Hobart shopping / walking guide, a look inside one very gorgeous Hobart home, an interview with Tassie-based photographer Sean Fennessy, and many more Tasmania-inspired tip-offs!  I must thank many people who kindly shared their local knowledge – Catherine of Little Glowing Lights who photographed this week’s Hobart Home for us, Sarah K who lived in Tassie many moons ago, Megan Morton who shared some secrets, TDF’s lovely occasional helper Miriam McGarry who grew up in Hobart and had some great recommendations… and so many Tweeters who sent me to their favourite cafes and shops during my visit!  Thankyou!

OF COURSE the week has to start with a little look at Hobart’s newest and most talked about attraction – the Museum of Old and New Art!  Many of the incredible photographs below have been kindly shared by photographer Sean Fennessy, who documented the amazing MONA opening party back in January.  Thanks so much Sean!  (You will get to learn a little more about Sean on Friday!)

MONA is quite frankly the most amazing and utterly unique art gallery I’ve ever been in.  Entirely self-funded (apparently to the tune of $175 MILLION!) by Tasmanian-born eccentric millionaire and philanthropist David Walsh, the gallery was intended, in Walsh’s own words, to be a ‘subversive adult Disneyland’.  Mission accomplished!  AMAZINGLY, Walsh paid for the project with money earned as a professional gambler.  Well I never.

It’s lucky there are no tax payer dollars here, because there’s little chance Mr Walsh would have had his way if he had a funding body to answer to!  MONA houses an eclectic, at times controversial, but always entertaining collection of works – from ancient Egyptian relics to eyebrow-raising contemporary installation, and paintings by revered local heroes such as Sidney Nolan.  The work is curated and hung in the most brilliantly indecipherable way (no chronology here), and there are no labels on any of the artwork.  Instead every visitor is given an iTouch audio device that offers insightful, cheeky and unexpected commentary, keeping you giggling and wide-eyed with wonder as you explore all three subterranean floors of the gallery.

MONA is free.  DO NOT MISS the debut exhibition, MONANISM which ends July 19th!  ALSO to avoid disappointment, book the MONA ferry in advance, online here.  You can get a bus, but nothing beats arriving by boat!

655 Main Road Berriedale
Hobart
Tasmania

MUSEUM OPEN DAILY 10.00am – 6.00pm

MONA exterior (top image – Sean Fennessy), and incredible grounds overlooking the water (bottom image by me).

MONA subterranean interior – top image by Sean Fennessy. Bottom two images – Lucy Feagins.  Truck in a Corridor by James Angus – one of many highlights (enhanced by the hilarious iTouch app commentary!)

Both these shots by Sean Fennessy – top image shows Sidney Nolan’s mural Snake (made up of 1620 smaller paintings).

Julius Popp’s Bit.Fall waterfall installation had us mesmerised early on.  Apparently it draws random words from the internet, spelling each one out for a split second before each word vanishes forever.  Truly beautiful, particularly with a backdrop of natural sandstone in the gallery interior.  This photo by Sean Fennessy.

Julius Popp’s Bit.Fall waterfall – excuse my very jolty camera work!  You really need to see it in motion!
My dear friends Toohey and Kitty on the ferry back from MONA!  SERIOUSLY how can anywhere be this beautiful!?  (Do not forget to pre-book the ferry people!)