Where many see an abandoned building set for demolition, an artist can envision a masterpiece. In an abandoned art deco mansion, Melbourne artist Rone continues his tradition of combining his large-scale street art portraits with immersive art installations in buildings set for destruction. Following his works “Empty Project” (2016), “Alpha Project” (2017) and “Omega Project” (2017), comes “Empire,” set in a sprawling Burnham Beeches mansion located in Victoria’s Dandenong Ranges in Australia.
The building was constructed in the 1930s and served as home to a wealthy industrialist’s family, children’s hospital, research facility, and luxury hotel before being abandoned in the 1990s. Rone decided to bring the building back to its art deco roots for his latest project. Each of the mansion’s 12 rooms features a haunting portrait as well as period-style furniture, flowers, scents and other details to create a multisensory experience.
Rone worked with interior designers, lighting specialists and set designers for more than a year to create “Empire.” The mansion includes over 500 antique pieces from the 1920s and 1930s. Each room is linked to one of the four seasons, uniquely marking the passage of time.
As visitors wander through the rooms, they are transported to another time and place. The portraits on the wall serve as reminders of past lives that have passed through the building. All of the design elements combine to create a thought-provoking experience where visitors will likely find themselves trying to imagine the stories held in the walls.
As Rone explains, “I want people to walk in and feel like they can explore the possibilities of what might or might not have happened here. ‘Empire’ is about offering audiences the chance to create their own story.”
Visitors can experience “Empire” until April 22, 2019 at Burnham Beeches in Sherbrooke, Australia. Learn more at www.r-o-n-e.com.