The world is full of really interesting places. One of my favourite interesting places is in Hobart, Tasmania and is called the Museum of Old and New Art. Opened in 2011 it is the largest privately funded museum in Australia, created by David Walsh.
I love so much about the MONA and to fully understand what I mean you’ll just have to visit. For those of you who can’t, firstly, it is in a fantastic location with stunning views of the city and the hills surrounding it. You can even arrive by boat to get a great view of the whole museum from the water. Second the building itself is incredible. The building is cut into a sandstone cliff jutting out into Hobart’s Derwent River. It has only one story above ground, but goes three stories deep. When you enter you take the elevator all the way down to the bottom floor and start from there and make your way up. The space has no windows but is big and airy and has a whole series of wonky looking staircases that makes it feel a little bit like a scene from Alice in Wonderland. Third, as the name suggests, the space is filled with a mix of old pieces, (mummies, tablets with cuneiform writing), and new pieces. All the pieces are interesting, invite discussion, and engage you in some way or another. One large room had dozens of old chairs facing an equal number of old TV sets playing old interviews of individuals from all around the world. Another is a library where every single book has a white cover and filled with blank pieces of paper. Perhaps the best thing about the MONA is the O, a little tablet you are given at the entrance, which has all sorts of interesting information about all the pieces you see in the museum. It has not just the basic information, date, artist, materials used, but more about the motivation behind the work of art and even the story behind how the MONA bought the piece in the first place. And at the end of your tour you can save the information about the pieces you liked the most and access it over the internet when you get home. After all that, if that isn’t enough, the MONA also has a brewery, a café, a restaurant and a vineyard on the property that offers tastings. Then there are accommodations, tours and even art festivals. There is plenty happening here.
There are a few places around the MONA where you can have a hot chocolate. Today we chose a space deep in the rock called The Void. On one side is a large sandstone wall with swirls of yellows, beiges and browns. The wall is so bright it almost feels like you are near a window with natural light even though you are three stories down in the basement. Along the opposite wall they had a series of fancy chairs, most covered in red velvet, and a piano asking to be played but sadly today was sitting there quietly. From here we had a great view of a few different works of art, in particular a light bulb display by an artist from Montreal Canada.
The hot chocolate was very nice. It was presented in a rounded glass which usually I am against, but here it seemed to make sense. It fit in very nicely with the MONA’s old and new approach: it was a nice classic hot chocolate, presented in a very clean, modern rounded glass.
Verdict: The Mona is a fantastic spot with a very nice hot chocolate. MONA, 655 Main Road, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia