Day 40





What We Did:

Friends had told us such great things about MONA, and they were right.   It is unlike any museum we’d ever been to, and even Dad – who has seen a fair bit – was blown away.  The kids started off with the large outdoor musical trampoline, that rang bells and gave the kids amazing views over the Derwent River.  Descending in a circular elevator, we started in the bottom gallery making our way through rooms, chambers, tunnels and halls filled with massive and strange works of conceptual art.  Some of it definitely not for kids, others left them mesmerized.  Gali had the hardest time since he couldn’t exactly touch the Fat Car or the machine that manufactures poop.   Raquel loved the 30 screens of fans singing Madonna, the Kitten’s Tea and Croquet Party (although I wasn’t going to tell her they are taxidermies from the 18th century).  The largest privately-funded museum in Australia, MONA is the brainchild of an eccentric local millionaire and Dad reckons it’s the best contemporary art museum anywhere. Raquel was a little scared by the dark hallways, but loved the giant bit.fall waterfall installation (which makes words pulled from news online) and the real-life tattooed bloke meditating.   The lack of pretension, friendly Tasmanian hospitality and unusual experiences made it a full day visit.  After lunch, we danced to an African band playing on the outdoor stage, played with bean-bags, roosters, a large chessboard, and grape vines.

What We Ate:

A delicious lemongrass soup with sourdough bread (too spicy for Raquel, but Gali loved it). God’s Plate: hummus, vegetable purées, roasted, fermented and stuffed vegetables, artichokes, dukkah, labnah and crisp flatbread.  And a delicious chicken liver creme brulee with sweet cherries.

Where We Ate:

MONA’s Wine Bar

My Favourite Pictures Today

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Where We Slept:

Our modern and spacious Air Bnb in Howrah.

We Learned:

That art is in the eye of the beholder.  That staggeringly rich people can do staggeringly cool things if they want to.  That it’s possible to make a machine that mimics the digestive tract and makes poop. That some art works designed to be scathing satires also work as great family-friendly entertainment.  That you can make tiny humans out of flies.  That conceptual art can be overwhelming for a toddler.  That it’s best to let toddlers win when playing on a giant chessboard. That Hobart looks and feels a lot like home, and it’s nice to take a break from the heat.

Reflection of the Day

The Best Part:

Jumping on a trampoline that doubled as a work of art.

The Worst Part:

The installation that showed 75 cast vaginas, because Raquel didn’t know where the rest of the women’s bodies were, and called them “vagina skeletons.”  Getting overstimulated by seeing so much and being unable to sleep.

  Today's Random Thing

  A Note from Mom and Dad

MONA is an amazing museum, but it’s skewed on the dark and challenging side.  Still, there are fun exhibits for the kids, and lots of interesting spaces for them to run around and explore.  With so much going above their head – literally and figuratively – it’s the unique spaces that make the biggest impression on kids. A neon-lit tunnel that changes colours, a maze of concrete that leads to an infinity room with a giant overhead mirror, a massive hallway with hundreds of small pieces of art combining into a giant snake – amazing stuff.

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