This Christmas (2017) friends kindly invited us to stay as their guests in a cottage they own in Tasmania. As the temperatures were due to soar in South Australia we jumped at the opportunity. At this time of year Hobart was hosting many events like the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race and ‘Taste of Tasmania. Ultimately this meant we were unable to hire a car because we hadn’t booked in advance. Fortunately, our hosts generously loaned their car so we could engage in various activities. One of our main highlights (recommended by many people) was the amazing Museum of Old and New Art (MONA).

As an artist I have visited many galleries around the world and always enjoy the experience. My speciality is realism so I am always fascinated with exceptional techniques. However, as I have got older my appreciation of sculpture and modern art like abstract and graffiti has massively improved. Generally, the artwork in the Museum of Old and New Art is eclectic to say the least. Certainly it is designed to provoke a reaction and will not appeal to everyone’s tastes. There are some intriguing pieces like Sidney Nolan’s Snake (which is a giant mural comprising of 1,620 paintings) but the star of the show is the magnificent architecture of the building.

The Museum of Old and New Art is the brainchild of Tasmanian millionaire, David Walsh and was conceived by Fender Katsalidis Architects. This progressive architecture firm is owned by Karl Fender and Nonda Katsalidis who have designed many high profile commercial buildings like the Eureka Tower in Melbourne. Certainly the concrete and Corten steel external façade is pretty imposing. Internally the main gallery is accessed via a seemingly endless spiral staircase (or tubular glass elevator). The industrial theme is continued throughout and especially in the winery, restaurants, hotel etc.

We were privileged enough to enjoy a delicious meal on New Years Eve at the recently opened Faro Tapas, which enjoys wonderful water views.

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