Demolition on the former Alphington Paper Mill — a brutalist icon in the Alphington suburb of Melbourne is well underway, making way for one of Australia’s largest urban renewal developments, Yarrabend. but in destruction, street artist Rone has found new life.

The artist, best known for his large scale portraits of beautiful women, realised his latest series of work on the walls of the mill’s dilapidated machine rooms. Only a small group of people were able to view the pieces before they were painted over and the building was destroyed.

For ‘The Alpha Project’, Rone has painted the paper mill’s walls with massive, meticulously rendered portraits of women. The artworks were on view within the building for only a few days, and accessible to only a few people, before the site was readied for demolition.

The idea of documenting street art prior to its imminent destruction changes the face of the genre. “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.”


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