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MONA reveals plans for Reconciliation Art Park in Hobart

MONA reveals plans for Reconciliation Art Park in Hobart
December 11, 2016

David Walsh, the pioneering art collector and founder of the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) in Hobart, has revealed the first major element of MONA’s vision for the transformation of the industrial site of Macquarie Point on Hobart’s waterfront into an internationally significant cultural precinct with an integrated transport infrastructure solution.

The main components of the proposal include a national truth and reconciliation art park, a major fire and light installation celebrating 40,000 years of continuous culture in Tasmania, a Tasmanian Aboriginal history centre, living culture centre, as well as library and education facilities, all of which acknowledge, according to Walsh “the need for truth and reconciliation in the wake of colonial warfare.”

Introducing the plans, Walsh explained “we are going to push for this, despite knowing we are white-fellas treading on black-fella graves. We aren’t doing this to pacify or mollify. We are doing it because we believe in it, and we are trying to find a way through. We’ve learned a little bit, it isn’t enough, but we’ll keep learning.

“This, right now is the best we’ve got. If it isn’t good enough, don’t walk away, work with us to make it better. It will be easy enough to find fault and to criticise. But we’ve done nothing for far too long, and continuing to do nothing will only make things worse for everybody, invaders and indigenes alike.”

Creative Director Leigh Carmichael “unfortunately, we have a dark history, and as a society we are yet to fully acknowledge it. We believe it’s important for the community to take responsibility for taking land it had no right to, and to understand the atrocities that happened here.

“Nothing we do now will ever be enough, but we want to do something. We believe Macquarie Point can be the location of Australia’s first major public acknowledgment for part of our history that no-one wants to talk about, but ultimately made us who we are.”

According to MONA, its vision for the reconciliation park recognises the Tasmanian Government’s ‘Resetting the Relationship’ commitment, which aims to engage “the diversity and creativity of Tasmanian Aboriginal people from across the state.”

MONA’s vision for Macquarie Point also creates the potential to bring together Indigenous arts and culture from around the world.

Mona’s Mac Point vision includes:

• A reconciliation Art Park
• Nine major fire and light installations - representing each of the first Tasmanian nations
• Tasmanian Aboriginal history centre, living culture centre, library and education facilities
• Light rail (three stations including options for a heritage rail station)
• Eden Project
• Contemporary Gallery & Art space
• Antarctic science & research precinct
• Six-star 500 room hotel (or three hotels)
• A 2,500 capacity conference and exhibition centre
• Produce market (day and night, operating regularly)
• A 7,000 plus capacity Hobart Music Bowl
• Upgraded Antarctic gateway
• Upgraded cruise terminal facilities, additional warehousing along with allied commercial offices and retail
• Residential retail marina with ferry terminals

Images show plans for the transformation of the industrial site of Macquarie Point on Hobart’s waterfront.

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