Explore Rone’s survey, from early stencil works to ephemeral site-specific installations, before moving through to The Green Room, a recreation from the ‘Omega Project’ and journeying through the immersive Without Darkness There Is No Light installation.
Last month, the Geelong Gallery officially said goodbye to Rone In Geelong, a comprehensive survey of street artist Rone’s work over two decades, tracing the evolution of his Jane Doe motif into states of greater realism, painterly technical proficiency and larger scale murals.
Opening in February this year after several delays due to COVID, the exhibition was a celebration of the artist’s large-scale wall paintings over the past two decades, alongside a new immersive installation and it exceeded expectations from locals and tourists near and far.
For the unacquainted, 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.
He 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.
Returning to his hometown, the exhibition at Geelong Gallery featured works ranging from early street art bordering on graffiti, right through to the stunning wall-sized portraits that he is known for today.
The highlight of course was the 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 transformed one of the Gallery’s most significant rooms into a derelict site, incorporating his signature painted murals featuring an aloof-looking woman, furniture that has been destroyed and torched, and a haunting new soundtrack by composer and collaborator Nick Batterham.
It was truly a stunning and immersive experience, attracting more than 42,000 visitors to the local gallery, doing absolute wonders for the local tourism industry.
While the exhibition is now long gone, with Rone and his team physically removing all aspects of the installation (even the carpet), artist lovers can still view the entire exhibition online.
We know this isn’t exactly the same as walking into one of his all-consuming installations, but the virtual exhibition offers amazing 360-degree exploration options, as well as including online links to the individual artwork labels for those who want to dive a little deeper into the works.
You’ll also find access to a kid’s discovery trail and behind-the-scenes details and footage offering further insight into the infamous street artist.
While you’re at it, you can also virtually peruse the gallery’s permanent collection.
You can access the virtual Rone In Geelong gallery here.