Excursion to the Museum of Contemporary Art



The weather is getting colder and as the forecast said there was a good chance of rain we decided to do something indoors. Having not been to a museum in a while we went to the Museum of Contemporary Art at Circular Key. It is one of the most well know art galleries in Sydney. It shows only recently made art, but we can’t call it the “modern” art gallery for a rather confusing reason. You see the art world decided to call the period from the 1860s to the 1970s the “modern” art period. This was great at the time but once that timeframe was over we were stuck without a name for art currently being made. Thus the Museum of “contemporary” art was born.

We met at customs house just behind the station. Many people don’t know this, but the old customs house building has a miniature model of the Sydney city on its ground floor. You can get a birds eye view of the whole city without paying the arm and a leg a helicopter ride would cost. It’s also a good we to see layout of the city if you are too scared to try the bridge climb.

General entry to the MCA is free. Sometimes they might have a special exhibition that you need to by a ticket for, but we could see everything free of charge. While there were works made by many artists the featured artist at the moment was Janet Laurence. She is an Australia artist whose works carry a theme of environmentalism.  Many of her pieces used parts of plants such as flowers, seeds, branches and so on. Much of her work looked at humanity’s impact on nature, how the environment has been damaged by people and how it is in a constant state of repair. There was a feeling of loss, and while it was slightly clinical if not at times almost morbid there was also a sense of hope and rejuvenation.

The rest of the museums several floors are filled with a collection of various artists. Many of the works were large instillations taking up large sections, or sometimes even whole rooms of the museum. Some of them were almost pitch black forcing the viewer to focus on senses other than just their vision. Some were interactive, encouraging the audience to become part of the art itself.

While art might not be everyone’s cup of tea, the art a country produces is an important part of its cultural identity. Contemporary art in particular gives us an insight into the current generation’s way of thinking and lets us see in which direction a city is moving, not only artistically but also ethically.


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