Sunday, July 17, 2016

Tasmania Part Three: James Turrell, Mid-WinterFest, and Animals....

We had rain, wind, snow, then some warmer temps and even sun yesterday, but today we are back in the rain.  This round is much warmer, however, so despite the strong winds it isn’t biting quite as much.

Saturday we drove up to MONA and had lunch before wandering around in the museum.  When you arrive you are issued a “O” phone, basically an Itouch that has the contents of the museum loaded onto it.  It can determine what is close to you and, if so-desired, you can touch the screen for information.  Some of it is part of a setting called “Art Wonk”, and some pieces have extra info such as artist interviews.  It is an unusual trait that the work has no traditional labels next to it.  I sort of love that.  You simply view the art on its own merit and respond to it versus having some “expert” telling you whether or not it should be important.  You can certainly have an expert tell you that, but you don’t need to have it interfere with your own response. I think it is a very interesting and more “pure” way to view art, to be honest.  I like it.  Some of the pieces have tiny little videos attached to the  info.  There is a large installation outside the building that is two sections of concrete with a crumpled car wedged between them.  Upon watching the video I learned that David Walsh had seen the original installation (I think at Art Basel?) and wanted one for MONA.  So, on the opening day of the museum, a stunt driver crashed yet another car into two previously installed pieced of concrete on the grounds.  It is pretty cool to see the video and hear the artist talking about it.  
MONA is simply amazing.  Every bit of it is special.  The architecture, the landscape, the materials used everywhere.  Even the art I don’t really care for in it.  I love it because it is stuff that David likes and I find that intriguing.  

Yesterday morning we were scheduled for a private tour of Bonorang, a wildlife rescue organization.  The history of it is that it began as a small wildlife park but sometime in the early years transitioned to rescue.  Some of the animals, due to their injuries, will reside permanently at the park, whilst others are rehabbed and released.  Our guide was very generous with information and also allowing us the opportunity to interact more closely with the animals.
 We each got to pet a Wombat(!)
 a Koala, 

and watched him feed the Tasmanian Devils.

We were able to hand-feed Kangaroos and even saw a mother with a Joey in her pouch.  It would be hard to say what I loved most.  So many birds!  We even got to see a Echidna, an egg-laying mammal that resembles a hedgehog with a longer snout.

 This one’s name was Randall.  I fell in love (truly).

After leaving the wildlife rescue we drove directly to MONA for the birthday party of the museum owners' daughter.  It was held in what I assume is an area below one of the restaurants that is used for private events.  The room spilled out onto a beautiful lawn area that extended between the building and a pavilion that is used for musical venues and other events.  During nice weather (which we were fortunate to have yesterday) there are many many large bag pillows thrown out all over the grass.  A large sandbox and other toys were all around the area:  a paradise for kids of any age!

The party planners had face-painting supplies and asked my daughters if they wanted to help.  Since one used to have a job at Fiesta TX doing face painting for an entire summer, the answer was yes.  Many littles had their ninja, lion, hello Kitty, and other superhero faces painted.  We ate an amazing selection of food from the buffet, pizza from their wood oven and even some pork from their smoker.  Their outdoor kitchen makes mine look like the amateur place that it is, but it was so much fun to see their outside equipment that serves all the restaurants at the museum.  We watched the children play an Australian game called “Pass the Parcel”, a sort of musical chairs-type game that involves passing the wrapped parcel until the music stops, then whoever holds it opens a layer of the parcel to find a small gift.  It ended with the parcel being opened by Sunday’s mother for her small gift.  Such fun!  I want to do a grownup version of it someday soon!  Should we?  Lets!

We spent more time at the museum until closing, and then drove back to Hobart for a brief rest before dinner.  Again, I was tired to the point where all I wanted to do was shower and flop into the (very comfortable) bed.  

This morning it is warmer but windy and rainy.  No idea what the day will bring but whatever it is will be good.  


  1. What an exciting trip. I'm loving following your adventures. So excited that you did see some Devils. The picture is adorable in a scary sort of way.

    1. I think the Tas Devils got a bad rap from the beginning. They do make quite a scary sort of snarling to each other but it is mostly for display. They are sort of cute, really. I think they mostly deal with carrion. They are the turkey vultures of Tasmania!


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