Rone Transforms Abandoned Art Deco Mansion in Melbourne | Yellowtrace

Rone Transforms Abandoned Art Deco Mansion in Melbourne | Yellowtrace

Rone Transforms Abandoned Art Deco Mansion in Melbourne | Yellowtrace

Rone Transforms Abandoned Art Deco Mansion in Melbourne | Yellowtrace

 

Usually ‘creepy’ would be the word that comes to mind when describing an abandoned, dilapidated mansion. Not so when Melbourne street artist Rone has anything to do with it. His takeover of Burnham Beeches, a formerly glorious art deco abode in the Dandenong Ranges, is so damn cool. There are honestly no words to describe how cool. But we’ll try. Read on…

Following the success of Omega, which saw a condemned suburban home become an installation before its demolition, Rone has stepped it up a notch. In a further exploration of beauty and decay, the artist has created murals on the peeling, cracked walls of the 14-room 1930’s manor for ‘Empire’.

The Art Deco Streamline Moderne property was once the glamorous family home of wealthy industrialist Alfred Nicholas. After iterations as a research facility and then a hotel, Burnham Beeches was shuttered in the late ’90s. It had been vacant for over 20 years when the ‘Empire’ installation began.

 

Related: The Demolition Of Beauty: Rone’s Hidden Artwork In Melbourne.

 

Rone Transforms Abandoned Art Deco Mansion in Melbourne | Yellowtrace

Rone Transforms Abandoned Art Deco Mansion in Melbourne | Yellowtrace

Rone Transforms Abandoned Art Deco Mansion in Melbourne | Yellowtrace

Rone Transforms Abandoned Art Deco Mansion in Melbourne | Yellowtrace

 

‘Empire’ is more like a film set than an art installation, including sound, light, scent, and botanical design. Audiences are taken on a multi-sensory journey through the once magnificent manor, hauntingly immersive in a way that encourages one to fantasize about the past of a faded icon.

Rone collaborated with interior stylist Carly Spooner, who sourced over 500 individual antique pieces to furnish the rooms. No detail went left unchecked. They even planted a grand piano in the garden, leaving it exposed to the elements for several weeks to achieve its aged patina before transplanting it back inside, covered in moss and leaves.

 

Related: Stories On Design // Empty & Abandoned Buildings.

 

Rone Transforms Abandoned Art Deco Mansion in Melbourne | Yellowtrace

Rone Transforms Abandoned Art Deco Mansion in Melbourne | Yellowtrace

Rone Transforms Abandoned Art Deco Mansion in Melbourne | Yellowtrace

 

Playing into the passage of time, the rooms are thematically linked to seasons, curated to evoke distinct moods as audiences move throughout the space. The room with the grand piano is strewn with piles of autumn leaves, while a bedroom is decorated from floor to ceiling in varying shades of spring lavender.

Design studio Loose Leaf created botanical installations to further reference each season and reflect the perpetual life and death cycles of nature and the estate’s surrounding gardens. Film composer Nick Batterham created a 45-minute, 15 channel composition which drew on months worth of ambient audio recorded on site in the gardens, season by season.

 

Rone Transforms Abandoned Art Deco Mansion in Melbourne | Yellowtrace

Rone Transforms Abandoned Art Deco Mansion in Melbourne | Yellowtrace

Rone Transforms Abandoned Art Deco Mansion in Melbourne | Yellowtrace

Rone Transforms Abandoned Art Deco Mansion in Melbourne | Yellowtrace

 

Rone tapped actress Lily Sullivan as his muse, who fittingly starred in the recent re-adaptation of infamous Aussie mystery tale ‘Picnic at Hanging Rock’. Her understated, timeless “girl next door” beauty embodied the aesthetic he envisioned for his evocative ‘Jane Doe’ portraits that loom across the mansion. Rone’s signature monochrome palette assists in making the portraits appear as ghosts or hazy apparitions, fading into the walls.

Over 12 months in the making, ‘Empire’ is Rone’s most ambitious undertaking to date. He likens taking over the mansion to cracking open a forgotten time capsule for the world to see. “I love exploring the concept of how — and why —something so magnificent can be left to decline into ruin. Empire is about offering audiences the chance to create their own story; to temporarily transport their minds to another place, another time.”

 

See other abandoned projects on Yellowtrace here.

 

 


[Images courtesy of Rone.]

 

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