I dont tire of Museums and we are lucky enough in the world to have more than we can see in a life time. I liked MONA but I didn't love it. I visited a heritage house in Hobart called Narryna, a beautiful Greco stone built house with a group of children and loved the interaction and learning about all their quirky systems like having an embroidery hanging in front of the fire so they didn't get too hot and all the painstaking equipment needed in a kitchen with no running water.
Cheryl the lovely volunteer guide showing us the serving plate which could be warmed up and had a special little dip for the meat juices. The class I was with was from a little school in Hobart. It was great to hear their remarks and their questions. And look at them - such diversity - Asian, North African, Sudanese perhaps, Irish, English but now all proud to be calling themselves Aussies.
The next day I went to the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery in the centre of Hobart and this is a real little gem of a place. It has something for everyone, aboriginal history, natural history, early medicine practices, geographical facts, antarctic expedition results and a lovely art collection.
My favourite piece of art in the whole museum was something that looked like an old fashioned ice cream cart, except it was made of perspex and had lots of compartments and drawers which you could open and close and it was full of jars and containers with everyday articles and treasured possessions. It reminded me of the fact that in 2000 when we thought the world was going to implode and the banks to collapse we planted a space capsule under a new oak tree in our garden in Liverpool to be found by the next owners, the next inhabitants of this planet, to give them a small insight into what life was like all those years ago.
This work of art was made by a local artist called Patrick Hall and it is called "Hollow Vessels." If you have time listen to his YOU TUBE VIDEO ( about 10 mins long ) on this work of art. He is for me the epitome of a down to earth and thoughtful man who espouses the essence of art and who was able to make the link of communicating enough information to his viewers about what it meant, to inspire them and to lead them down a road of consideration. I guess that is what I found was missing in Mona, and which captured me so wholeheartedly here in this simple but hugely meaningful work.
You tube of Patrick Hall
These are his words, engraved around the upper side of the cart which I took down with a pencil borrowed from a museum attendant which was an inch long. Worth every word taken down:
"The things I think bob and jostle. They are a flotilla of tiny craft. They are an unstable raft on which to journey, on which to look back to where I have been, on which to stand and be seen. The things I think voyage in hollow vessels of many shapes and sizes. They are carried in ships, fashioned by the gathered knowledge of others, clinker built with planks, stripped from the material world, caulked with stories we are told and nailed with love and passion. The things I think are so often swept away by the current, forgotten or lost in an unnamed space, unmarked on charts of other places. My thoughts are messages that sometimes sink or drift to be washed upon a distant shore."