Whether you've cruised up the Derwent River on one of the hourly taxi boats or parked your car among the vines of the Moorilla winery, you'll follow the small signs to the museum's entrance and find … a tennis court. And at least a handful of other slightly flummoxed visitors gazing about and wondering, "but where's the art gallery?"
It transpires to be a typical piece of MONA misdirection. Art museums are meant to be monumental, visually impressive and perhaps a little overwhelming. And while there's certainly nothing modest about MONA's physical dimensions (there's 8000 square metres of floor space) or position (perched on the Berriedale Peninsula with sensational water views) the entrance next to the tennis court is on a deliberately human scale. And founder David Walsh just happens to like tennis.
If you haven't heard of MONA, it's probably time for a little background. This is Australia's biggest privately funded museum, built by Walsh - who made alot of money as a professional gambler - on the site of the winery and the much smaller Moorilla Museum of Antiquities.
That museum closed in 2007 and early in 2011 MONA was opened with a vastly expanded collection of artworks ranging from ancient artefacts to modern sculpture and installation art. Hence the name.