Creative Director, MONA, Dark Mofo
Leigh Carmichael, alongside founder David Walsh, leads MONA’s evolution. Since joining forces with Walsh in the mid-millennium, Leigh has been responsible for refining and executing Walsh’s vision and creative genius in the role of Creative Director of MONA and its winter festival, Dark Mofo.
Each day, Leigh manages to dance a marketing tightrope within MONA’s egalitarian, anti-formulaic and non-hierarchical modus operandi. Its anti-marketing ethos and unique take on cultural branding and creative risk has recently been referred to as ‘The MONA Effect’, and its nature continues to evolve. You could say that MONA is characterised by irreverence, egalitarianism, hedonism and mystery with a sense of discovery, and somehow, Leigh has taken it all on board to create an accessible, celebrated brand, embraced by all walks of life.
Before MONA, Leigh worked as a Graphic Designer for companies including Crank Media, G3, and Roar Film. It was as a freelancer that he won the contract to design labels for Walsh’s Moorilla winery Muse Series and Moo Brew beer line.
As David’s vision evolved, the Moorilla site soon became known as MONA, and Leigh has been responsible for its creative direction ever since. Leigh’s most recent appointment, granted by the Federal Minister for the Arts, is a three-year term on the Board of Directors for the Australia Council for the Arts.
Under Leigh’s direction as a team leader, MONA has grown to include a myriad of brands including two festivals, Mofo (summer) and Dark Mofo (winter). Now annual events, each festival incorporates music, art, interactive performance, and film, and has boosted Tasmania’s tourism to unprecedented levels. Together, Leigh and David have helped put Tasmania on the map as one of the most important cultural destinations in the world.