Collingwood based artist, Rone, is best known for his large scale portraits of beautiful women commissioned throughout the world from New York and Paris to Port Villa and Taipei. Over the last few months Rone has been working in secret on a series of works in an old paper mill. These latest works at Yarra Bend have been completed inside the iconic brutalist brick buildings of the old Alphington Paper Mills on Heidelberg Road.
The concept is an extension of Rone’s “Empty” series (pictured below) which was unveiled last year and investigates the themes of beauty and decay. In “Empty”, Rone secretly created murals in abandoned houses and building around Melbourne and documented these works in a photographic print series.
“This was a dream project, a giant abandoned site where I could paint whatever I saw fit.” Rone
Last weekend, only a small group of people were able to view the works before they were painted over and set for demolition.
“More people see my work in a documented form than will ever see it in person. Knowing this has changed the way I think about the life of my work. Nothing last forever. As long as it’s there long enough to be documented, I know that it will live on in another form.” Rone
The murals have now gone with the demolition of the paper mills, a move has been welcomed by the artist. The iconic brutalist brick buildings will make way for one of Australia’s largest urban renewal mini-suburb, YarraBend.
The concept of documenting contemporary street art prior to its imminent removal takes the genre to a new level. This significant evolution has been recognised by the arts community via the addition of Rone’s “Empty” being placed in the NGVs permanent collection.
“This makes the work more significant once it is gone. It shifts the value on to the documentation of the work rather than the work itself. This idea has opened up a whole new chapter for me but it also brings me back to what makes street art & graffiti special, you can see it one day and it’s gone the next.” Rone
Art collector and owner of the YarraBend development, Len Warson said he was thrilled with this project as it marks the beginning of series of artistic collaborations for the site.
“One of our key pillars for YarraBend is arts and culture, so to start our journey with these works by Rone is very exciting,” Len Warson.
If you are interested in the photographic works that will be produced from this project please request the catalogue here.
Check out the video below …