Flinders Street Station transformed by experimental new TIME exhibition


Time by Rone at Flinders Street Station is the place to be right now. If you like art or history or both–step into this alternate universe, where nostalgia fills the air, haunting music rings through your ears, and you get transported back to the ‘50s.

Tyrone Wright, who goes by the pseudonym of Rone, is the mastermind behind this project. Three years in the making, Rone sought to build his largest ever, multi-sensory, immersive experience–and the result is exactly that. It took 20 artists and over 300 hours of work to realise Rone’s vision and completely transform the upper levels of Flinders. Once used as a community space, and vacant since the ‘90s, the space is now divided into 11 different installations, all marked with Rone’s signature portrait murals.

Each room is an homage to a different work environment, a ‘what could’ve been but never was’; each environment a fictional piece of Melbournian history post WW2. As you step into each installation–the art room, the mail room or the library–you realise the intricate details that surround you. There’s not a thing out of place, except maybe yourself. It’s even more fascinating when you find out that everything in the room is a carefully curated prop, either bought at an op-shop or donated.

A fine layer of dust covers every object; cobwebs made by glue guns hang from the lamps and bind the pens on the desk and the books on the shelves. You can almost tell the worker’s life by looking at their workplace: imagine what their day-to-day life looked like, the hustle and bustle of the mail room at peak hours. But now it looks idle, like it was abandoned in haste. Half-empty tea cups, unfinished logbooks, unsent mail.

As if that’s not overwhelming enough, there’s the signature murals: massive paintings all depicting the same woman. At times she looks ethereal, at times a little haunting, but she never fails to capture your attention. Her fazed eyes follow you around the room. You can’t help but fall in love with the idea of her. There’s something romantic, almost poetic about the way she’s painted. Sometimes she’s the centre of attention and sometimes you find her at the most unexpected corner. It’s like you’re playing a game of Where’s Wally? But the grand finale is in the last installation, the ballroom. A beautiful archway leads you to her. As you walk closer, her beauty is almost breathtaking, like a love story lost in time. All of which makes sense when you come home and read that most of Rone’s work focuses on female beauty.

The staff is super friendly and really helpful in answering all your questions. I know I had a lot; I got to know the woman in the paintings is Rone’s long-time friend and muse, Teresa Oman. They also told me the communal space is hot property amongst residential builders right now. Rone makes great use of the space and even though his depiction is fictional, the exhibition really does give you a sense of how much meaning the space has held for the community throughout time.

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