Rone in Geelong and the Bollards

Rone is the ‘nom de plume’ of Tyrone Wright (born 1980), an internationally renowned street artist. We first came across his art at the painted silo at the town of Lascelles in Northern Victoria, which features a local farming couple. He is a very talented painter.

Lascelles Silo

Rone grew up in Geelong before making a move to Melbourne. He originally started decorating skateboards and skate parks. Since then, his work has spread to the streets and inner-city laneways of Melbourne, and into some galleries and exhibitions. Rone lives in a small flat so he often uses stencil art as a creative outlet. He decided to base his art around paintings of pretty young women as he thought that too much street art was focused on a theme of violence.

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Many of his works are painted on derelict buildings or those soon to be demolished like these cement silos at Fyansford near Geelong. Therefore his work is quite temporary. This is the very nature of street art – it gets removed, painted over, or the building is demolished,. The only record of much of his art are the photographs that he has retained.

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Yesterday, we drove to Geelong to see his current exhibition at the Geelong Gallery, He has converted one of the gallery rooms to recreate a dilapidated and abandoned reception room, complete with furniture, dining table and even a custom made carpet. This work  will eventually be destroyed when the gallery moves on to a new exhibit, but that is th s the style of Rone’s work.

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We stayed overnight at the RACV Resort at Torquay. We had stayed there a few months ago and were quite pleased to see that many of their previous strict Covid-19 policies have now been relaxed in line with our success at minimising the virus in Australia. Rooms are now serviced daily. Masks are no longer required and the restaurant service is pretty much back to normal. Let’s hope it stays that way. Of course, it is still mandatory to sign in with a QR Code.

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Back in Geelong this morning, we walked along the waterfront to see some of the famous bollards along the shoreline. These are the work of artist Jan Mitchell who transformed old timbers and piles from a city pier, demolished in the 1980s, into remarkable works of art that show figures who are part of the city’s history. There are over 100 of these bollards and we didn’t have time to see them all. These ones stood out for us:

Eastern Beach Life Savers – This group of figures embodies the spirit of Australian Surf Lifesavers with their equipment of reel and rope which were standard pieces of life saving equipment before jet skis and power equipment became available. The rope and reel are still important in  lifesaving clubs competitive activities as teams swim out to save someone in distress and compete with other clubs as to which team can bring a person back pack to shore in the shortest time. . 

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Bathing Beauties – The beach front was the venue for beauty competitions from the 1930’s. The closest figure has ben crowned ‘Miss Geelong 1937’ and the others have won other prizes in this annual beauty competition (Note: no bikinis in the 1930s – bathing suits were still ’neck to knee’ then).

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Joy Ark Sandwich Board Man- This gentleman advertises the Joy Ark which was built in 1912 as a silent picture movie hall and entertainment venue.

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Early Geelong Footballer – A nearby field, which became Transvaal Square, was used for football practice in the 1880s.

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Volunteer Rifle Band – Playing “The Geelong Polka”, this group represents players in Geelong’s first band concerts which were held in the Botanic Gardens in 1861.

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Sailor and his Girl – A 2nd World War couple representing the Sailors’ Rest institution building, on the corner of Moorabool Street and Eastern Beach Road (now a restaurant).

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Promenading – An upper class couple promenading in the Geelong Botanic Gardens.

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There are many more of these bollards that we didn’t have time to see. One day, we will return too see some more..

2 thoughts on “Rone in Geelong and the Bollards

  1. G’day Bruce,

    Fascinating blog post ( as always ) , I must put that “Silo Run” on the bucket list !


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