Crowds queuing for art at Willow Court

Visitors queuing outside Alonnah House for the Mike Parr
exhibition last night.

THE overwhelming response to the opening of Dark MoFo at Willow Court yesterday resulted in many visitors being turned away.

Entry is free but the recommendation for all intending visitors is to book ahead, especially those planning to attend at night.

Performance artist Mike Parr’s presentation at Willow Court is getting mixed reactions but for many visitors the heritage buildings are the main attraction.

Parr is ensconced  in the former A Ward/Alonnah House, where he is in the midst of a 72-hour performance titled Entry by Mirror Only. This exhibit will be open to visitors 24 hours a day until noon this Sunday. The cost of admission to the site during the performance is a mirror, of any kind, to be left behind.  Parr will be drawing for the duration, or as much as possible, in complete silence.

The Barracks building last night.

Meanwhile, selected items from Parr’s previous performance have been curated to form Asylum, a one-off installation occupying different buildings including the Barracks (original convict hospital), Carlton House/C Ward (former male maximum security), Alonnah House/A Ward (former female maximum security), and the Occupational Therapy building, with video, sound, photos, objects and an interactive piece. Open until Sunday June 12, 24 hours (by appointment after dark; register online). Monday June 13, 12-4pm, and Saturday June 18-Sunday June 19, 12-4pm.

Mona founder David Walsh and guests
at the official opening last night.

The exhibition and performance contain disturbing content and themes, and may not be suitable for children. Curated by Jarrod Rawlins, the project is presented by Mona and Dark Mofo in partnership with Detached and the Derwent Valley Council.

There will be occasional street entertainment and food vans in the New Norfolk central business district until Sunday, June 19. Shops are being encouraged to offer specials and stay open later during this period and many have been decorated with red lights and mirrors in support of Dark MoFo. Many private homes have also adopted the same theme.

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