Oxford School of Photography

insights into photography

Beauty In Decay

I have changed the title of this piece from that used in the Guardian because many people see beauty in decay, see the many Urbex projects that revel in decay.

This set of pictures takes the idea of beauty in decay to a whole new level. These images are so impressive not just because of the decay but because of the effort that has been taken to dress each room and produce images of extreme poignancy.

Melbourne artist Rone transforms a deserted Art Deco mansion called Burnham Beeches in his most ambitious takeover yet. The installation runs from 6 March – 22 April. Left vacant for more than 20 years, this sprawling 1930s mansion sat neglected, in a state of ruin. It saw a condemned family home in suburban Alphington transformed into a gallery and installation piece before it was demolished.











see more from Rone here

Finding the friction point between beauty and decay is a thread that runs through much of Rone’s work. As a street artist best known for his haunting, stylised images of women’s faces, he understands better than most that beauty can be fleeting. Seeing his artworks gradually worn away by natural and human elements has taught him to appreciate the unexpected beauty of an image as it begins to blend back into its more prosaic surroundings.



3 responses to “Beauty In Decay

  1. Jane Buekett March 7, 2019 at 3:51 pm

    I quite like the rooms but what’s with the women’s faces? I may have been affected by having spent the afternoon writing inclusivity guidelines, but really? Beauty isn’t white, female, young and ‘perfect’ in my world. I think they detract from the project.

    • oxfordschoolofphotography March 7, 2019 at 4:03 pm

      I did wonder about that too, was the beauty only related to the images of the women or in the nature of the decay of the location. He is famous for putting images of faces on silos in Australia so has previous like Agnès Varda and JR.

      • Jane Buekett March 7, 2019 at 4:31 pm

        Hmm interesting. Some of the faces on silos etc are of more ‘real’ people. One difference from JR is that I think these are paintings rather than photos so a bit more idealised

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