Street Art Legend Rone Will Transform the Flinders Street Ballroom for His Next Blockbuster Installation

'Time' will see the historic site trip back to post-WWII for the artist's latest — and greatest — beauty-meets-decay masterpiece.
Libby Curran
Published on September 29, 2022

Pre-COVID, world-renowned Melbourne artist Rone proved a game-changer when it came to street art installations, pushing the envelope with his large-scale multi-room works engulfing abandoned cottages (The Omega Project), deserted mansions (Empire) and derelict office blocks.

While it's been a minute since his last foray of this kind, now, Rone is back with what's set to be his most expansive project yet — he's taking over Melbourne's iconic Flinders Street Ballroom to stage his next immersive masterpiece, Time.

More than three years in the making, this ambitious new work will completely transform Flinders Street Station's hidden third floor and ballroom, and it's open to explore from Friday, October 28–Sunday, January 29.

Rone, by Tony Mott Photography

As is Rone's way, Time is a masterclass in storytelling and imbued with history. Like a sentimental love letter to mid-century Melbourne, it invites audiences to time-travel back to post-WWII, its 11 themed rooms sharing fictional histories that shine a light on the working class.

Each chamber is brought to life via a curation of original — and carefully recreated — heritage artifacts, lighting, soundscapes and historic architectural features; with the haunting female portraits that have become Rone's trademark gazing down from above. Prepare to be transported back to the public libraries, typing pools and machine rooms of yesteryear as you wander through the intricately designed spaces, pondering the meaning of time, progress and loss.

The major installation has taken a team of over 120 people several months to deliver, including long-time Rone contributors such as interior set decorator Carly Spooner and sound composer Nick Batterham.

From Rone's 'Empire'

Time follows similar large-scale transformations from Rone's famed back catalogue, including fleeting Alphington work The Omega Project, and Empire, which presented imagined stories of the wealthy upper class of old.

The mysterious, long-closed Flinders Street Ballroom has enjoyed an artistic revival these past few years, having recently played host to Patricia Piccinini's otherworldly exhibition A Miracle Constantly Repeated.

From Rone's 'The Omega Project'

Find Rone's 'Time' at Level Three, Flinders Street Station, Melbourne, from October 28–January 29. Tickets are available online from 10am Thursday, September 29.

Top image: The Clock Room, part of 'Time', photo by Rone.

Published on September 29, 2022 by Libby Curran
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