Mysterious, marvellous, magical Mona. I had heard such a lot about this gallery and had been longing to get there. I have just returned from Tasmania where Steve and I met up to enjoy a week exploring the Tarkine Wilderness, and then there was a window of opportunity to head up the Derwent River and have this Mona experience. Because that is what it is.
I made the decision not to walk with the audio set on this first visit, (I say first because the Gallery is ripe for multiple visits) but just walk around and engage with the artwork, find a few pieces that I loved and where I could anchor myself if I found the rest a little too much. As it was there was no need for those anchors, but I certainly found a couple of pieces of artwork from which it was VERY hard to tear myself away. You will see by these few photographs that it was in the Pavilion with Anselm Kiefer's rack of lead books and shattered glass that my heart leapt, and also with the 'wind drawings' which were made with a pen attached to apparatus which led outside and was moved in various degrees with the prevailing wind. When I was watching initially the wind was fairly brisk and the pen was dancing happily across the page .... as I came out of the Kiefer Pavilion I could hear a really aggressive noise coming from the area of the wind drawings and the pen was being thrown violently over and off the page. A very severe storm had rushed in, making it likely that the ferries could no longer get to the gallery and everyone was sheltering inside. Luckily, the storm was short lived, remarkable to watch as it whipped up the river into squalls of white mane and the ferry was eventually able to pull up and take us back down the River.
Not only was there some wonderful artwork in this Gallery, but the building itself is an absolutely beautiful work of art - worth many a visit on its own. In hindsight I am rather sorry not to have walked around listening to an explanation of all the artwork as I am sure that one's appreciation of each piece is enhanced with knowledge, but I really enjoyed my quiet (not altogether!) wander around in my own little world, appreciating where I could, puzzling through where needed and totally absorbed with a couple of favourites.
(There was an article in The Australian on Monday about the demise of the 'comma'. I wonder where that would have left my last sentence.)
I cannot give credit to those artists' who created this work, other than Anselm Kiefer of whose work I have been an enormous fan over the years, as none of the works are titled, nor any indication given of the artist beside the work. Old work and New are all mixed together, juxtaposed and challenging. A great experience. Next time I will wander with the audio ....