Rone, a Collingwood-based artist best known for his large-scale portraits of beautiful women, recently completed his latest works inside the machine rooms of the old Alphington Paper Mills at YarraBend. Only a small group of people were able to view the works before they were painted over and set for demolition. These works are an extension of Rone’s “Empty” series which investigates the themes of beauty and decay. In “Empty”, Rone secretly created murals in abandoned houses and buildings around Melbourne and documented these works in a photographic print series.
These buildings will soon be demolished to make way for a huge development (/entire new suburb) YarraBend. Rone knew this so his works were always intended to be temporary – how they were going to be viewed before demolition was actually only decided the week before!
Everyone that came had to be inducted and guided through in hard hats and high vis vests! For the past few months, YarraBend has housed some of Melbourne’s most valuable hidden artworks. Over the weekend a small group of people viewed these works for the first time, right before they were intentionally destroyed by the artist.
The Paper Mills works are unique in that they now exist only in photographic form, and through the memory of those few people who were lucky enough to have seen them in reality. The concept of documenting contemporary street art prior to its imminent removal takes the genre to a new level.
As an avid art collector, Glenvill CEO and owner of the YarraBend development, Len Warson was instrumental in engaging Rone at YarraBend. “One of our key pillars for YarraBend is The Arts, so to start our journey with these works by Rone is very exciting”. This project marks the beginning of a series of artistic collaborations for the site.