One Year Ago… Hobart, Tasmania

I’m housesitting for my parents for the next 6 weeks while they’re away on a nice long vacation.  As it turned out, their trip will take them to all the countries I lived in this past year- Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, and Japan.  The last few days I’ve been sorting through thousands of photos and re-living some wonderful memories from 2013.  Since I’ll be “stationary” for a while, I thought I will finally finish my posts about Australia and New Zealand where I spent the first four months of last year.

One year ago… I was coming to the end of my time in lovely Hobart and heading to Sydney.  Oh, how I loved Hobart.  A lot of the fondness I have in my heart for Hobart is due to my friends who invited me to spend Christmas and New Years there, and to experience one of the best hikes in the world with them.  When I think back to Tasmania I am still filled with gratitude and happiness.  So once again, I’d like to send a giant hug and thanks to the N. family for hosting me and for introducing me to such a wonderful place.

I know that I already wrote about going to MONA (Museum of Old and New Art) but before I left Hobart I made yet another trip there (that makes 3 visits to MONA in 3 weeks!  my first visit here, second visit here)

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We took the ferry over as we had done the previous time but on this journey we saw this huge boat that was built in Hobart.  A, S, and I marveled at the coincidence because we knew exactly what this boat was, where it was headed, and its intended purpose; this Buquebus was going to sail over to Argentina in order to shuttle passengers back and forth from Colonia and Buenos Aires.  Who knew that a year ago then (in 2012) when the three of us met in Argentina, I would travel all the way over to Tasmania to see them again?  I don’t know where in the world I will see them again but I hope it will be soon…

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On this visit to MONA I explored completely different parts of the museum and loved every moment of it.  I took some time to take in the famed Australian artist Sydney Nolan’s work entitled “Snake,” for which MONA was built.  It’s made of 1,600 paintings that are assembled together to form a mural that reveals a giant serpent.

P1120043Just two of the 1,600 individual paintings that make the mural.

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I’d missed this previously but I managed to time it right on this visit to see this controversial piece in action; I watched it get fed and returned several hours later to see the food processed.  The museum staff said the menu changes often…  I won’t go into detail about it (nor will I post the video I took of it with the final “result”) but it really was, in every sense, a poop machine.

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Here are some other works I was intrigued by…  There were so many disturbing and thought-provoking pieces that one could really spend hours and days going through them all.

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I didn’t know at the time but a few months later I saw this artist’s installation in Melbourne that was at least 10 times bigger than this.  You can’t really tell from the photo but the white stuff is actually tiny bubbles.  They undulate and sway, and seem alive in person.  And yes, the bubbles were spewing out of big plastic garbage containers.

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I also really liked this piece…  I think A and S did, too.

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I’d had some really delicious meals at the MONA Cafe before but hadn’t done a wine tasting yet.  With our return ferry scheduled to leave all too soon, the three of us hurried upstairs to do a bit of daytime drinking.  Even the wine bottle labels were artistic and provocative, befitting the reputation of MONA.

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View from the wine bar upstairs.

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Our return ferry is approaching to fetch us.

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A & S went back to Hobart in October and once again visited MONA.  A. told me that they enjoyed the new works of art and this time they had a great 5-course degustation with wine pairing at The Source (MONA’s restaurant).  Speaking of food (of course), tomorrow I’ll post about where to eat in Hobart (or at least where I ate and what I missed out on) and all my foodie souvenirs from Tasmania to finish my Hobart journey.

Museum of Old and New Art (MONA): 655 Main Rd, Rosetta TAS 7011, Australia; www.mona.net.au

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