RONE in Geelong

Geelong Gallery is proud to announce the rescheduling of RONE in Geelong following nationwide gallery closures due to the COVID–19 pandemic. The exhibition will now open on 27 February 2021.

Acclaimed for his major transformations of abandoned spaces worldwide and his sell-out installation, EMPIRE, at Burnham Beeches in 2019, RONE returns to his hometown of Geelong with his first survey exhibition and a unique and immersive experience set to delight audiences.

Over the last two decades, RONE has built an exceptional reputation for large-scale wall paintings and entrancing installations that explore concepts of beauty and decay. Geelong Gallery’s presentation will include the first comprehensive solo survey of the artist’s career from early stencil works and street art, to photographs that document his transformation of abandoned spaces (one of which will be brought to life in a 3D recreation, commissioned for this exhibition).

The exhibition will also take visitors on a journey through a unique commissioned installation, with RONE transforming one of the Gallery’s most significant rooms in response to the architecture and history of the building, as well as the Gallery’s permanent collection. A multimedia experience will connect visitors back into the urban environment where the artist’s works have been painted in abandoned properties.

For the commissioned installation, RONE has taken inspiration from the architecture of the Douglass Gallery, one of the most historical rooms in the building’s evolution. This room’s scale and architectural and ornamental features—such as ionic pilasters, horizontal dado, and ceiling skylights— have led RONE to consider the beauty and grandness of the architecture of earlier eras, and the inevitable decay of spaces (when not valued and cared for).

Additional inspiration has come from the highly decorative interiors of Baroque grand palazzos in Venice, and the traditions of trompe l’oeil painting employed to simulate architectural details. Working with interior stylist Carly Spooner, RONE’s transformation of the room from a grand reception venue to a now derelict site will incorporate his signature painted murals and a haunting new soundtrack by composer and collaborator, Nick Batterham.

The project has also seen RONE’s re-engagement with a collection he visited in his youth. Works such as the gallery’s iconic A bush burial by Frederick McCubbin (1890) and several portraits are referenced in the installation, as are a number of early landscapes of Geelong. The decorative arts collection – and particularly the work of local early 20th century china painter Florence Royce – has inspired the general colour palette of the installation.

Artist, RONE says: “Working in my home town is special. I had to leave to come back, but Geelong Gallery has given me the recognition to further my career; my first institutional solo exhibition. Geelong has done that for me.”

RONE continues: “My show is an ode to abandoned spaces and a reminder to value the original treasure they once were. Influenced by the architecture of the building and the toll of time, the central installation preserves an imagined moment of the space adorned at its finest and left to slowly deteriorate. Featuring a push and pull between light and dark, viewers may be compelled to either end of the experience but are united in the same recognition of overall decay. The damage has been done and my installation invokes a longing for what is lost and cannot ever return.”

Through the support of Creative Victoria’s Strategic Investment Fund, Geelong Gallery will be extending its opening hours during RONE in Geelong. From Saturday 27 February to Sunday 16 May 2021, the gallery will open from 10am – 7pm Monday to Saturday, enabling a greater number of visitors to enjoy the exhibition in a COVID-safe environment and invigorating the extensive of hospitality venues in Little Malop Street and Central Geelong.

Ahead of Geelong Gallery’s presentation of RONE in Geelong, Thames & Hudson Australia published the first survey of the artist’s work, titled Rone, in June 2020. Tracing his career from the early days of street art, stencil and screen-printing through to his larger-than-life murals and immersive installations, the publication includes essays analysing the works and anecdotal notes from the artist himself.

RONE in Geelong
Geelong Gallery
Saturday 27 February to Sunday 16 May 2021, from 10am to 7pm
Closes at 5pm on Sundays | Closed Good Friday
Tickets – Adult $16 | Concession $12 | Members $10 | Child $7 | Family $40
Tickets on sale now:

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