Thirty five years ago, before kids, Gigi and I were fortunate to stay at ‘Burnham Beeches’, a luxury hotel in the Dandenong Ranges, outside Melbourne. Recently we were able to re-visit the property which has stood empty and derelict for over twenty years. The 1930’s Art Deco mansion was built for Alfred Nicholas – who made a fortune with the ‘Aspro’ brand of aspirin. The house saw service as a Children’s hospital and research labs for the company before being converted into a hotel, then falling into disuse. The house is once again to be re-developed – by Shannon Bennett, the international celebrity chef – into a luxury hotel and restaurant. Before redevelopment street artist ‘Rone’ was given permission to use the house for an art installation. Rone is famous for large scale ‘graffitti’ portraits of women on public and private buildings. The artist didn’t just paint hauntingly beautiful images of women – in this case actress Lily Sullivan (of ‘Picnic at Hanging Rock’ fame) – on the internal walls of the house, but also carefully curated the installation of hundreds of objects, plants and furniture from the Art Deco era. The hauntingly immersive experience is of time suspended, but clearly there is no life here, only ghosts and echoes. The stories of what happened here are for you to imagine and create. We hope that our photographs have done justice to what was a stunning, ephemeral, work of art and a memorable journey back in time for us personally.
© Gigi & Robin Williams Photography