Siloam is our new tunnel extension. It is born, like the rest of Mona, of iteration: a combination of ‘where have we been’ and ‘where will we go next…’
The Pharos wing, opened in 2017, included a tunnel to nowhere. David figured he’d work out later what to put there. (Nonda Katsalidis, architect: ‘Stop building tunnels for no reason.’)
Then it occurred to us, arguably a little belatedly, that access to Pharos was severed at certain times of the year, when parts of the gallery are closed to install or take down our exhibitions. Siloam is a response (an over-stimulated one, perhaps) to that problem.
The new tunnel complex takes you from the museum’s underground galleries, to the colourful, airy Pharos wing; between light and dark; between sandstone bedrock and the River Derwent.
Along the way you’ll find Oliver Beer’s giant ear, Mona Confessional; and Chris Townend’s sound installation, Requiem for Vermin—that we're calling (possibly correctly) the largest multichannel sound-based artwork in the world. Up one level are the bones of a Qing dynasty house (White House, by Ai Weiwei).
Siloam also hosts The Divine Comedy, by artist Alfredo Jaar—a three-stage journey through the chambers of the afterlife. Hell, purgatory, paradise.
Siloam is free with museum entry, but you need to book tickets ($20) to The Divine Comedy. Online bookings are available 28 days in advance or via the O on the day of your visit.