Painted on the wall of the Mill’s dilapidated machine rooms, Rone’s large scale portraits of women create an ephemeral air in the doomed structure. Despite being viewed by only a small group of people before they were painted over and the building destroyed, the artist was nonetheless sanguine regarding the fate of his artwork.
Known as The Alpha Project, the meticulously rendered portraits were only on view for a few days before the site was readied for demolition – a fact the artist was aware of. His new work is an extension of his Empty series, which was unveiled last year, and investigates the themes of beauty and decay. Prior to demolition, Rone’s secret Empty murals were photographed and now only exist in a photographic print series which will be available for sale.
As an avid art collector, Glenvill CEO and owner of the YarraBend development Len Warson engaged Rone to organise proper documentation and records of his Alpha Project artwork prior to demolition work.
“More people see my work in a documented form than will ever see it in person,” Rone says.”Knowing this has changed the way I think about the life of my work. Nothing lasts forever. As long as it’s there long enough to be documented, I know that it will live on in another form.”
The concept of documenting contemporary street art prior to its imminent removal is a move intended to take the genre to a new level. “One of our key pillars for YarraBend is The Arts, so to start our journey with these works by Rone is very exciting,” Mr Warson said.
The Alpha project marks the beginning of a series of artistic collaborations for the site.