Tag Archives: Museum of Old and New Art

Blogs can connect people purposefully and with pleasure

Some people refer to social media as a force which separates people, however in my experience I see it brings people together. Through my blog I have ‘met’ interesting people with whom I might not otherwise have connected and I have learnt a great deal.  My blog has introduced me to a world of wonderful ideas, beautiful environments, and to people who demonstrate they are vitally alive.  Every day I love to open my laptop and check who has sent me a comment or an email or to discover and read a recent blog posting by someone I am following.

Earlier this year, blogger Denise from upstate New York emailed to tell me she was coming to Tasmania and would love to walk in one of the locations I had previously written up.  This started what has now developed into a strong online relationship.  Eventually we met and walked when she visited Tasmania.

Denise at MONA 2015

The photo above shows Denise heading off towards the car park. It was the end of the day after we had walked from GASP (Glenorchy Arts and Sculpture Park), lunched at MONA (Museum of Old and New Art), checked out the current exhibitions, and realised it was time to travel home.

This November has been a special month for Denise because she decided to highlight special people in her life: she selected 30 people and wrote a daily post throughout November. I was immensely surprised when she added me in. Denise’s post can be read on her blog ‘Dee Scribes’  When you have read this, you may like to read some of her earlier postings.  As a thoughtful, intelligent and articulate advocate for redefining disability, she is second to none.  Denise is a professional with  humour and flair.  I have learnt so much more by reading her blog posts. Thank you Denise.

Tynwald Estate buildings came into view when I walked Stage 14 along the Derwent River

Twenty minutes later after leaving the boat ramp, I spotted what seemed to be the ruins of a 19th century building and more recent structures.

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These are located at the end of Tynwald Street, a road which comes off the Lyell Highway. I suspect one of these buildings is the remains of an 1820 granary that formed part of the estate of Tynwald House (http://www.tynwaldtasmania.com/history/).  I continued downhill along the track until I was at river level again.  A little further along,when I looked up through the trees, I could see the stately and elaborate Tynwald House, built in the 1830s and now operating as an accommodation and restaurant facility.  Trip Advisor contains more information http://www.tripadvisor.com.au/Hotel_Review-g504312-d1045373-Reviews-Tynwald_Willow_Bend_Estate-New_Norfolk_Tasmania.html

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Further along I could see the remains of Tynwald estate’s Oast House (a building designed for kilning  or drying hops as part of the beer brewing process), now a Museum.

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The landscape was stunningly beautiful along this walk.

Reliving GASP and MONA with a new walk along the Derwent River

On Stages 9 and 10 of my walk along the Derwent River, I passed the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) and the Glenorchy Arts and Sculpture Park (GASP).  Yesterday I had the opportunity to introduce two international visitors to these important arts structures.

Mid-morning I met with a follower of my blog, De from upstate New York and her Arizona cousin Ke as we were chauffeured thanks to Ma, from the centre of Hobart to our starting point near the Derwent Entertainment Centre.

Our excursion started from the Pavilion at the southern end of the Glenorchy Arts and Sculpture Park (GASP) near the Derwent Entertainment Centre.  Do you remember my photos of that surprise pink glass wall?

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From a distance and approaching this structure, it looks dull, industrial and disused. But just as I had felt during my walk, my two new international co-walkers were amazed once we arrived at the site. Quite delightful and I have no doubt De will be displaying her own photos on https://deescribesblog.wordpress.com/ when she has time.

Then we started strolling and rolling along the bike/pedestrian path towards the slatted walkways with their colourful striped edges.  Many photos were clicked every time we reached a new striped walkway with a different set of colours.

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De gets around in a motorised wheelchair so when she spotted a scooter with its dinghy trailer (see photo below) waiting for its owner to return from their boat out on the Derwent River, she stopped in amazement. We talked about how good security seemed to be locally.  The scooter owner had left his/her shoes, helmet and other personal items, and despite a security strap set up to prevent movement, we all knew that enterprising thieves seem to carry bolt cutters with them these days.  But all was well yesterday.

scooter

Gradually clouds disappeared, the mountain looked sharp and much of the sky was blue.

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Glorious.  After a very cold North American winter, De soaked up the sunshine as the day warmed and we did everything to stay outdoors that we could.

We continued along the foreshore and turned towards the highway when we reached the Montrose High School. Then we were onto the bike/pedestrian track past Rosetta and into Berriedale before advancing up the entrance incline to the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA).  Along the way we admired the new autumnal colours of the Moorilla grape vines beside the road.

Vineyards

A visit to the exhibitions at MONA requires descent into cavernous spaces below ground so we decided to enjoy a lunch break first.  Despite the busyiness of the café directly above the museum, De motored through gaps in the visitors and took us outside into the open air where tables and chairs are set on the lawn. We admired great views up, down and across the Derwent River.

Our sparkling Moorilla wines were crisp and delicious, and the food choices were expansive.  De and I settled on a soba noodle with spring peas and pickled ginger salad, and Ke tucked into an Italian summer salad which included a great variety of ingredients dressed with the best local olive oil. Ducks and peacocks were out and about, seemingly comfortable with the thousands of visitors that come to MONA each week.

Satisfied by lunch we returned inside and took the lift to the bottom floor of MONA. Over the next couple of hours we wandered through the three levels of exhibits before De and Ke found the upstairs bookshop. The wonderful conclusion to our visit came when De spotted a spectacle outside.  They left the building and, along with a throng of tourists, took photographs of a huge unblemished and bright rainbow crossing over the entire River.

It was a great pleasure to show non-Tasmanians a small part of where I have been along the Derwent River, and De and Ke’s enjoyment enhanced mine. Thanks for your company and best wishes De for your conference presentation in Burnie tomorrow encouraging people to understand there are few limits other than those we set ourselves.

Denise leaving MONA

Both De and Ke gave me permission to include their photos in this blog.

International traveller may join me for a walk

A few months ago I was excited when a blog follower from upstate New York, told me she was coming to Tasmania and would love to take a walk with me to see some of the sites I have shown in my postings.  With increasing anticipation we have corresponded and now I expect her arrival this week. Sometime around midweek we expect to undertake a comparatively short ‘stroll’ from the southern end of the Glenorchy Arts and Sculpture Park (GASP) over the wonderful striped edged walkways over the edge of the Derwent River.   Do you remember them? For example,

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and

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Then we will head northwards into Berridale and on to MONA (Museum of Old and New Art) with all its fascinations.  Perhaps we won’t be able to get away but if we do, there is always the possibility we might continue on to Cadburys chocolate factory. This doesn’t seem too shabby an itinerary.  What do you think?

Of course we will exercise our right to choose somewhere else to walk if we wish.

If anyone else is visiting and wants to relive a section of the edge of the Derwent River over which I have passed, please email me on walkingthederwent@gmail.com.

Opera (not Oprah) and the Derwent River

How can I make a connection? This blog is not meant to be a diary of my life rather a record of my walk along the Derwent River in Tasmania. However, when I experience something wonderful I feel enormous pressure to share.  My challenge, therefore, is to make a reasonable connection with the Derwent River.

Yesterday I watched, via their program ‘Live in HD’, one of Metropolitan Opera’s (New York) latest performances of Richard Wagner’s opera Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg.

The connection I am making is slim and relates only to the location of my viewing.  The opera was screened in MONA’s (Museum of New and Old Art) Cinemona theatre.  Long term followers of this blog will know that this internationally renowned Museum is located directly on the western shore of the Derwent River within the Greater Hobart Area (I walked there in Stage 9 and left there on Stage 10).

Another tidbit of connecting information is that a 3 Act opera named ‘Mona’ was premiered at the Metropolitan Opera just over a century ago (yes I am clutching at straws).  In her book American Opera, Elise Kuhl Kirk remarks: “By the time Mona was given its premiere at the Metropolitan Opera in 1912, audiences had wearied of German ideology. Parker’s heroic libretto was ‘somewhat grey’ some said … Parker admired … Wagner.”

The Met’s latest performance of Wagner’s Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg was definitely not grey. It is the story of a man in love who needed to become a mastersinger, but had no experience and possibly no talent, in 16th century Nuremburg Germany. Richard Wagner wrote and composed this opera in the 1860s.

Through their ‘Live in HD’ program, the Met releases a series of operas around the world each year.

Years ago, the CMAX at Devonport on the northwest coast of Tasmania was the only cinema in this State to screen the series. In the past couple of years MONA at Berriedale has also offered the fabulous opportunity to see what amounts to current performances (the actual performance would have been staged in New York only a few weeks ago), current sets and current sophisticated back-stage technology.  The singers are world class at the top of their careers, and the sounds they make can be sublime. During the intermissions, routinely a notable opera singer interviews members of the cast, sometimes the conductor of the orchestra, the Stage Manager or others – all of which adds immeasurably to the pleasure of the experience.

Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg is Wagner’s longest work and the performance lasts over 6 hours including the two intermissions.  The outside temperature in Hobart was very warm yesterday so being able to immerse myself inside watching the performance made me feel extremely fortunate.

Words such as thrilling, brilliant, overwhelming, powerful, breathtaking, and rousing all come to mind when I remember my experience – especially in the third Act.  This opera will be rescreened at MONA tomorrow (23rd Feb) and again on Friday 27th Feb for anyone who is interested to visit MONA by the Derwent River.  I feel sure you will have heard the main theme of this opera before: check out the start of an orchestral performance at  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JKG8ZxEOdwE  (Published on Apr 6, 2012 Full Opera Recording “The Mastersingers of Nuremberg”. Sung by Theo Adam, René Kollo, Geraint Evans, Peter Schreier, Helen Donath, Ruth Hesse. Recorded by Staatskapelle Dresden and the Chorus of the Staatsoper Dresden. Conducted by Herbert von Karajan (EMI, studio, 1970).)

Walking along the wharves of Sullivans Cove, Hobart

On Stage 11, after walking along Hunter St, I turned right to walk along the Franklin Wharf street, and had the Derwent River on my left and an enclosure for fishing and other vessels to my right. The morning was fresh, the sun was shining and it was all together delightful. Not many people around. The mountain, clearly visible, looked down on the centre of Hobart and over the wharves. Clouds were reflected serenely in the water.

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A family of bronze sculptures, perched life-like on rocks on the River side, is much loved by visitors.

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Passing Mures fish restaurant on my right, I continued on until I could see the row of floating fish shops selling fresh and cooked fish and other seafood.

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A minute later, I was standing on the celebration platform used when the Sydney to Hobart Yacht race boats arrive. I looked across to Elizabeth Pier which contains accommodation, conference facilities and a number of eateries (where sitting outside is such a pleasure).  In the photo below the ‘tall-ship’ replica Lady Nelson sits outside the T42 restaurant.

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Opposite Elizabeth St pier, a number of buildings of different architectural styles and vintages line part of the street. Continuing to the other side of the Elizabeth St pier, a second tall ship, the Windward Bound offers sailing trips.

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On the next pier after the one in the photo above, a couple of the contemporary camouflaged MONA ferries sat either side within the slightly mobile surface of beautiful glassy water.  Taking a trip on these ferries down the Derwent to and from MONA (Museum of New and Old Art) located in the suburb of Berriedale (I walked through that on recent Stages) helps you to see parts of Hobart you would not normally see, and it gives you a perspective on the distances over which the Greater Hobart Area sprawls. It is interesting to reflect on the two extremes of water vessel technology, when you look at the 19th century sailing ship close by a state-of-the-art catamaran.

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These starting sections of my Stage 11 were colourful and tranquil. It’s a free, easy, stroll along the waterfront and there is much to see looking out onto the side of the Derwent River. The next posting on this blog will look at landmarks on the non-River side of the streets.

Moorilla Estate on the edge of the Derwent River, and Claudio Alcorso’s legacy

Two weeks have passed and I am yet to plod along a new stage of my walk along the Derwent. Unfortunately a number of commitments and inclement weather have kept me off the path but for the followers and other readers of this blog, I hope to be walking later this week or early next week and lodging new stories onto the blog.

History

Meanwhile a little history of the fabulous location at Berriedale where my last walking stage finished and the next stage starts needs to be provided.

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Moorilla is an estate producing wonderful wines from the vineyards that sit around MONA (Museum of New and Old Art) in the northern suburbs of the Greater Hobart Area.  Details about these good drops can be found at http://www.moorilla.com.au/. In addition, the world famous Moo Brew Brewery operates from the site.  Read more at http://www.mona.net.au/mona/moobrew

Claudio Alcorso

The estate and vineyard was originally established by entrepreneur and Italian textile merchant Claudio Alcorso in 1947. Read more at http://www.moorilla.com.au/winemaking/history/. Claudio Alcorso was well known for setting up Silk and Textile Printers Ltd. at Derwent Park, a suburb in the City of Glenorchy in the Greater Hobart Area.  He was also a patron of the arts. For example, in 1947 and other years Alcorso commissioned selected Australian artists to design new fabrics and then these were printed on silk, wool and linen. The artists included William Dobell, Hal Missingham, William Constable, Russell Drysdale, James Gleeson, Francis Lymburner, Adrian Feint, Jean Bellette, Donald Friend, Margaret Preston, Justin O’Brien, J. Carrington Smith, Loudon Sainthill, Frank Hinder, Carl Plate, Margo Lewers, Douglas Annand, Alice Danciger, and Desiderus Orban.  Tasmanians may recognise that our Jack Carrington Smith was recognised in this list of celebrated Australian artists. Their designs were displayed in substantial national exhibitions and helped to create a design shift nationally and were part of a global development in the design of fabrics. Have a look at http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1301&dat=19470821&id=fgNVAAAAIBAJ&sjid=25MDAAAAIBAJ&pg=7284,3275402 to see some of the fabrics.

Alcorso sponsored the Alcorso-Sekers Travelling Scholarship for Sculpture with the Art Gallery of New South Wales and helped bring some of the most controversial art to Australia in the 1960s and 1970s.

You can read a transcript of a short interview with this wonderful man at http://eprints.utas.edu.au/16629/2/alcorso-transcript.pdf.  Alcorso’s autobiography The Wind You Say. An Italian in Australia – the True Story of an Inspirational Life was published by Angus & Robertson in 1993.

Handing over to David Walsh

Alcorso sold the property to David Walsh in 1995 who, in concert with the current wine maker, has continued the open-mindedness of the original owner with a search for, and presentation to the public, of new and exciting and beautiful objects and experiences.

Stacks of wonderful photographs of Moorilla and MONA can be seen at https://www.google.com.au/search?q=moorilla+images&espv=2&biw=1366&bih=643&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=XreGVP8Lg4PyBcWxgTA&ved=0CDMQ7Ak

Since MONA opened to the public a few years ago, hundreds of thousands of people from around the world have poured into Tasmania and made the pilgrimage. It offers a feast for all the senses and no-one leaves the estate unchanged.

Just remember the estate and MONA are closed to the public every Tuesday.

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