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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Rone in Geelong

Celebrated street artist Rone returns to his roots for an immersive new exhibition in Geelong.
By Libby Curran
November 23, 2020
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By Libby Curran
November 23, 2020
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Street artist Rone has a well-documented knack for taking on unexpected spaces as canvases for his distinctive large-scale works. In 2017, he staged an immersive installation in an abandoned weatherboard house for The Omega Project, while last year saw him reimagine the deserted Art Deco Burnham Beeches mansion for sell-out installation Empire. Now, the celebrated artist returns to his hometown of Geelong to transform Geelong Gallery into an immersive, experiential exhibition.

Featuring the first comprehensive solo survey of Rone's long-running career, Rone in Geelong captures the artist's fascination with the concepts of beauty and decay. Visitors will be treated to a sprawling collection of street art, early stencil works and photographs from the many abandoned spaces he's reimagined as temporary art installations over the years.

One of these past exhibitions will be reborn with a specially commissioned 3D recreation, while an exclusive new installation will see Rone overhaul the precinct's historic Douglass Gallery into a derelict space decked out with plenty of his signature painted murals. Exploring the inevitability of decay, he'll play on the room's grand architectural features with help from interior stylist and longtime collaborator Carly Spooner. A haunting soundtrack by Nick Batterham will bring the installation to life.

Throughout the exhibition, you'll also catch plenty of references to Rone's youth and his own connection to the Geelong Gallery, from glimpses of portraits to pieces capturing the region's distinctive landscape.

Initially set to take place in winter 2020, the exhibition has — thanks to the pandemic — been rescheduled for summer 2021. It's now set to run from Saturday, February 27 to Sunday, May 16 — and tickets are on sale now.

Rone, Powerhouse Geelong (2014). Photo by and copyright of Rone.

Geelong Gallery is open from 10am–7pm daily.

Top image: Rone, 'I've seen fire and I've seen rain' (2016) from the Empty series, Geelong Gallery. Purchased with funds generously donated by Geelong Contemporary, 2019. Copyright Rone.

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