MONA Foma visitors can take a ride on the Cataract Gorge chairlift like no other – inside the Launceston Planetarium
The chairlift carries thousands of tourists across the Gorge every year, but what if – using the power of imagination – the chairs could break free and take visitors on a colourful trip across Launceston?
Combining the projections of artist Jen Brown and the work of watercolour artist Helene Weeding, such a journey has become a reality.
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The two artists, both with PhDs from the University of Tasmania, have collaborated for the festival to use hundreds of images of chairlift riders with watercolour backdrops to be projected onto the domed ceiling of the Launceston Planetarium.
The art installation Heavenly Bodies includes a loop of five meditative journeys designed to challenge viewers’ understanding of travel and tourism.
The artists spent countless hours in Cataract Gorge taking images of chairlift riders and recording sounds such as the dawn chorus to create the immersive display.
Dr Brown said Mona Foma was a unique opportunity for the artists to try something completely new.
“This is the first time we have collaborated together so it has been a huge learning curve for us,” she said.
“My projections are usually on flat surfaces, but the opportunity to work on a 3D surface like that in the planetarium has increased the possibilities.
“It’s a bit of a provocation of tourism and travel – who is left out of that, who is able to consume these packages? All over the world there are massive surges of people visiting places as tourists.”
Heavenly Bodies will be showing every half-hour from 5pm to 8.30pm, from January 18 to 20 at the Launceston Planetarium.