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  • Writer's pictureVicki Walsh

Rone's Empty Exhibition

Updated: Feb 15, 2020

If you're from Melbourne, you would have encountered the work of Rone. His large-scale portraits of women's faces adorn buildings across the city, then slowly begin a process of decay that often renders the work even more striking.

His Empty exhibition was held at the former Star Lyric Theatre 247 Johnston Street, Fitzroy. The derelict theatre, which was in its prime in 1922 and 1952, and is now marked for demolition. It provided the perfect setting for his current series of photographs, which reveal murals that Rone has created in abandoned houses and buildings across the city.

The highlight of the exhibition was the large-scale portrait on the back wall of the building. When Rone first started preparing for the exhibition, he discovered a mural from the theatre's glory days in the 1920s that had been painted over. Taken by this relic of the building's former grandeur, Rone decided to paint around the mural. Beauty and decay intersect in Rone's work, just as they do at the Star Lyric Theatre. These days, the building is hidden behind a rendered wall, making this possibly the last chance to see the building before it disappears forever.

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