Iconic street artist Rone is hosting a new exhibition at Geelong Gallery

Iconic street artist Rone is hosting a new exhibition at Geelong Gallery

Words by Keegan Bennett, Image supplied by Penny Whitehead of Geelong Gallery

The Geelong artist is best known for his giant sized portraits on the side of various buildings

Infamous Geelong street artist Rone is hosting his first survey exhibition this weekend at Geelong Gallery. The artist has been creating street art for over 20 years and is arguably one of the most successful artists in the movement to come from Australia.

Key Points

  • Rone is hosting an exhibition at Geelong Gallery
  • Running from Saturday 27th February to Sunday 16th May
  • Tickets are $16 for adults, $12 for concession, $7 for children

For the unacquainted, a survey exhibition is effectively an art exhibition that ‘surveys’ a section of an artist’s career. That is a showcase of work from a particular period by a specific artist. This style of exhibition has mainly fallen out of favour at major galleries and museums, simply because having a diverse exhibition from multiple artists tends to bring more people through the doors. Regardless, the survey exhibition is often an important part of an artist’s career that signifies them worthy of being surveyed.

Rone, whose full name is Tyrone Wright, is a Geelong artist best known in Geelong for his ‘Geelong Silos’ installation that saw the iconic cement works on McCurdy Road in Manifold Heights covered with a trio of stunning portraits. Despite the cement works having been demolished since, Rone has been hard at work on various other ‘portrait-on-wall-of-dilapidated-building’ type projects.



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Rone has expanded his work into doing full-room installations, such as ‘Sub Rosa’ (2020), which whilst featuring his signature wall-sized painting, is surrounded by a carefully selected and curated collection of objects.


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Returning to his home town, his new exhibition at Geelong Gallery will feature a new special installation that explores themes of beauty and decay and responds to the history and architecture of the building itself. Working with interior stylist Carly Spooner, RONE’s transformation of one of the Gallery’s most significant rooms to a now derelict site, will incorporate his signature painted murals, furniture that has been destroyed and torched, and a haunting new soundtrack by composer and collaborator Nick Batterham.

“It is the room itself that has deteriorated over time, abandoned with few signs of its former glory, and only suggestions of what might have brought about its dereliction,” explains Geelong Gallery Curator, Lisa Sullivan.

“Once prized paintings fall from the walls, canvases torn and frames broken; items of furniture wear signs of neglect, decay and damage; once lustrous ceiling fabrics fray and fall from their fastenings; the elaborately decorated carpet is stained and worn; and layers of dust accumulate on surfaces. A musical score evokes sounds that would have once rung through this room, now lost to time and assuming a melancholic, haunting strain. The guests for whom the music played are long gone.”

Also, on display will be the ‘survey’ part of the survey exhibition. A display of Rone’s work, ranging from early street art bordering on graffiti, right through to the stunning wall-sized portraits that he is known for today.

The exhibition is a paid one, with tickets ranging from $16 for adults to $7 for children under 15. It will be running from Saturday the 27th of Feb through till Sunday the 16th of May.

Geelong Gallery is open daily from 10 am to 5 pm, for more info, click here.

Check out Rone’s website here.