Why Tasmania? MONA and Dark Mofo!

Tasmania has lovely local festivals – food related, history related, solstice related, music, or craft related – whatever small towns can do to ring people in, entertain them, and showcase local interests.  It also has a couple of major festivals – Agfest and Dark Mofo.  Dark Mofo was started by David Walsh, the owner and founder of MONA (Museum of New and Old Art), and it has grown exponentially. No longer based around the museum itself, the festival now spreads across the city of Hobart, with performances in other areas.  The city and private residences used red lighting throughout to add to the atmosphere. I think David and his committee have a plan to take over Tassie.

Dark Mofo is held close to the middle of winter, and covers two weeks of food, music, performances, installations, art, and general good fun. David, being David, has no problems with controversial exhibits, but he is also happy to create the ethereal.  One piece of ‘ethereal’ that was absolutely glorious was the Siren Song. 450 loudspeakers places on buildings through the city, plus a tsunami warning helicopter playing a 7 minute piece of music based on the call to prayer, played at sunrise and sunset for the duration of the festival. Siren Song was really moving.

The winter feast was amazing, the Dark Park interactive art, music performances, laser shows and art installation good fun, and then out at MONA itself, the opening of the exhibition “The Museum of Everything”, plus more performances, shows, food….

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