This September, three fresh exhibitions will enthral visitors to the Museum of Old and New Art.
The offerings include Jean-Luc Moulène's long-awaited first show in Australia, as well as the museum's first-ever exhibition of entirely old art featuring a collection of spiritual icons plus a sensory simulation of a volcano, from musician and artist Jonsi (of Sigur Ros).
Mona owner and founder David Walsh said they opened three exhibitions simultaneously last year.
"Again, we explore the vast range of the creative impulse that our biology compels. In each domain of endeavour, there is that which we can learn about the motives of the artists and that which we can learn about ourselves. The act of creation is most realised through the audience," he said.
Jean-Luc Moulène is acclaimed in his native France and internationally. He presents four newly-commissioned sculptural objects at Mona - created using wax, metal, Triassic sandstone and timber from primeval Tasmanian underwater forests. Curator Sarah Wallace said Jean-Luc Moulène is described as mercurial, experimental, erudite and poetic.
A fully-illustrated catalogue that charts the production of the four new sculptures alongside a selection of essays is available from the Mona shop.
Heavenly Beings: Icons of the Christian Orthodox World is the first exhibition at Mona comprising only old art and the largest-ever showing of jewel-like icons and related treasures in Australia.
More than 140 devotional objects depicting saints, virgins and other Christian holy subjects together reveal centuries of spiritual and aesthetic tradition.
Charting a journey rich in universally human emotion, the exhibition intersects with Mona's interest in what drives behaviour and the ultimate biological motivation for things we earthbound beings do.
Curator Jane Clark said visitors need not be religious believers to enjoy these artworks' sheer beauty and emotional power.
Hrafntinna (Obsidian) invites visitors to encounter the cavernous depths of a volcano, created by Icelandic musician and artist Jonsi - the lead vocalist of the band Sigur Ros. This is an immersive and sensory installation where the effects of music, sound and smell are experienced in near darkness.
Visitors will be surrounded by close to 200 speakers emitting an array of frequencies and vibrations, along with a hymn-like composition inspired by Icelandic choral music.
The artist was inspired by the volcano Fagradalsfjall which erupted in Iceland in 2021 after lying dormant for nearly 800 years. Hrafntinna (Obsidian) is the result of Jonsi's feeling of disconnection and yearning for the life force of his homeland.
All three exhibitions open on Saturday, September 30, with a celebratory party and will run until April 1, 2024.