Beacon of hope lights up Hobart skies

THE Hobart skies have been lit up with a familiar light.

The Museum of Old and New Art (Mona) turns on ‘spectra’ by Ryoji Ikeda every Saturday from sunset to sunrise until Mona reopens because of the COVID-19 crisis.

The light installation can be viewed from homes across greater Hobart from up to a 100 kilometres away and is providing people with a beacon of hope.

“The question the coronavirus forced me to ask myself is, ‘Do museums, particularly Mona, have any meaning when the lights are turned off?’,” Mona owner David Walsh said.

“As best as I could fathom, the answer is, no.

“So I turned the lights on.

“That might seem glib, but throughout Mona’s short history I’ve struggled to classify it: entertainment, repository, philosophical engine, cultural counterpoint, biological rejoinder or communal locus?

“Depending on my thinking, and on Mona’s particular engagements, each has its moment of primacy.

“It’s prime time for the community, and it’s clear that we can make one gesture that the community can share in – a rally call or a beacon of hope.”

Spectra consists of 49 xenon searchlights that project beams of light 15 kilometres upwards into the night sky.

It was installed permanently at Mona’s museum in 2018, with the artwork having been previously exhibited during Dark Mofo and different versions having been seen around the around, including Paris, Nagoya, Buenos Aires and London.

Caption: Spectra at night. Photo credit: Mona/Jesse Hunniford.

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