Tag Archives: gallery

MONA visited, revisited, revisited and revisited…

Despite the howls of protest and criticism from more conservative professional museum curators, they cannot put down the overwhelming success of David Walsh’s Museum of Old and New Art in Hobart. Walsh himself, has described it as “a subversive adult Disneyland”.

It is not without controversy, attracting such negative comments in TheMercury  as “You sick bastards. That place better be shut down soon. What is the world coming to? What will the next generation of children turn out like after viewing such revolting, hellish ‘art’. They’ll be torturing mutilating murderers.”

“Mr Walsh has made a very big mistake in setting up this thing in Berridale. It’s going to become the biggest white elephant ever in Tasmania. I see it as an extension of the sewerage treatment plant that’s situated right next door to the “museaum”. Both facilities are full of excriment that should be flushed away. It’s a joke people. A joke.”

On the other hand, there are many who actually get David Walsh’s vision and are rewarded and stimulated by it: “WOW, regardless if you love it or hate it, you have to agree this will put Hobart on the map of Australia for the world to see. It is probably the biggest push the city has ever had to come into this century and compete with the bigger cities around the world. Its private, yet free. What a selfless visionary Walsh must be. I wish I still lived in Hobart to see this gem. This “museum” might go a long way to help Hobart lose its “redneck” image to the rest of Australia. Congrats Walsh.”

Since its opening last January, more than 350,000 visitors have passed through its dramatic reflective portals. Last week, I made my fourth visit and again drew deep satisfaction, enjoyment and visual stimulation from being challenged by MONA. Here are some pictures from my last two visits:

The Museum of Old and New Art as seen from the Derwent River © Rob Walls 2011

Visitors to MONA reflected in the mirrored wall of the main entrance © Rob Walls 2011

Bit.Fall by Julius Popp

White Library by Wilfredo Prieto, a library of blank books, blank pages

A visitor viewing Philip Brophy's interactive Body Malleable

China-China - Bust 82 2004 by Ah Xian

Sidney Nolan's massive and magnificent, Snake

Artifact by Gregory Barsamian

After three hours of visual stimulation even the tools and ladder of the exhibition installers begins to look like an installation © Rob Walls 2011

More visits planned in coming months…

2 Comments

Filed under art, Australia, Australian, Digital photography, documentary photography, Opinion, Rob Walls, Tasmania, travel

Catching up with an old friend…

In Bali last month, I took the time to re-connect with an old friend. I met Nyoman Purpa, an art dealer in Ubud in 1977 and would visit him again and again, whenever I returned. It had been 25 years since I was last in Indonesia and taking a trip there with my daughter during the school holidays, I decided to seek him out. This is Purpa as I knew him in 1977; a laid-back, easy-going seller of paintings, with a few motorbikes for hire, as a sideline:

Nyoman Purpa in his art gallery, Circa 1977. © Rob Walls

Though Ubud had changed almost beyond, recognition, Purpa was not hard to find. His gallery which was once set amongst rice paddies is now part of some of the most expensive commercial real estate in Bali.

He was still the same, smiling, optimistic Purpa of old, though now comparatively wealthy. A dedicated family man, he had helped set up his twin daughters with their own fashion and jewellery business. His son, is a well know rock musician, appearing regularly on Indonesian television.

After filling in the years over a few Bintang beers, we decided to update his image with a new portrait:

Nyoman Purpa with ever-present cigarette, in his gallery, February 2, 2011 © Rob Walls

The years have been kind to my old friend.

Purpa and me. Photo © Cassandra Walls 2011

10 Comments

Filed under Australian, Biography, documentary photography, Photographer, Photography, Photojournalism, portraits, Rob Walls