Tuesday 28 April 2015


We have gone through various phases of visiting galleries and museums with the children. There is the age when they are still a baby and are happy to be pushed around in a stroller and just take in - even in a subliminal way, I always hope - what is before them. Then they get more active and it can be more of a game of chasings - stopping them from touching what they shouldn't - depending on their frame of mind that day, when they are toddlers. From about three to five or six, I've found them quite receptive to take in what is around them. And now that the six-year-old is pushing seven, he sometimes has more definite ideas about what he does and doesn't want to see. So when we went to visit the Museum of Old and New Art - MONA - in Hobart recently with a toddler, three-year-old and six-year-old, we had a mixed experience.

On the walk up from the car park we spied a peacock walking around, which interested the children greatly as they hadn't seen one before. We also saw roosters, another point of interest as they were quite unexpected - and all the more fun for it. The architecture of the building was fascinating to them - especially the cylindrical glass lifts. The interior was dark and almost foreboding, with dramatic classical music playing overhead, but as there were many nooks and crannies over three levels it seemed to keep them interested. 

Most of the art seemed to be partitioned off into curtained areas so we kept to what was on view in the main body of the museum. Reports from friends who had visited, who told me that the museum took a long time to view properly, meant that I knew we would be getting more of a taste than an in-depth experience. There were some pieces that captivated them - such as the bubble car and the "poo room" - but the maze of the building seemed more fascinating to them.

It was when we exited the main building and had lunch on the terrace that they really had fun. There was a giant concrete truck made of Victorian iron lace that held their interest, and they wanted to go on the giant outdoor trampoline, which unfortunately was unattended at the time. There were bells below that they investigated though. As it turned out, the empty tennis court was where they had the most fun - running in circles - and perhaps letting off a lot of energy after being in the car earlier that morning. But they do still talk about the "poo room"!

images the indigo crew 

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