The giant Rainbow Serpent mural entitled Snake (1970-72) was created by Australian artist Sidney Nolan and is made of 1,620 individual paintings.
The Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) in Tasmania is the brainchild of eccentric millionaire David Walsh, who’s called it a “subversive adult Disneyland.” Designed by architect Nonda Katsalidis, the museum is mostly underground. The interior’s spiral staircase leads down to three windowless levels of labyrinthine and somewhat ominous display spaces built into the side of the cliffs around Berriedale peninsula. By being underground, Walsh said the building “sneak[s] up on visitors rather than broadcast its presence.” To see the art, visitors must work back towards the surface, a trajectory that has been contrasted with the descending spiral that many visitors follow in NYC’s Guggenheim Museum. Not that it’s easy to get around. While there are certainly handrails and exit signs, lighting is kept to a minimum and surfaces are often painted black. The museum is so shadowy and dark that visitors are given an iPod touch just to see where they are going. One might ask if Walsh is a bit hypocritical in claiming he has built the “anti-British Museum” as his museum’s architecture certainly overwhelms and somewhat distracts the visitor from seeing the objects on display. Either way, the subterranean MONA is certainly a one-of-a-kind museum experience and I’ll give him props for that!