In the Melbourne suburb of Fairfield – working class on one side of the road, middle class down by the river and a couple of huge factories – they are building a huge residential complex with luxury units and views across the Yarra to the city. To find the space they bulldozed house after house and the huge Amcor Beverage packaging factory. Across the street is a sports oval and some houses that haven’t been bought by developers.
The site for the development looks ugly at the moment.
But one house was left ’til last. This house was owned by an old art collector and he spoke to the developer about an art project. The developer asked local artist, Tyrone West, who goes by the name of Rone if he would like to use the old house as a canvas for some painting. I saw some of Rones work last year and spoke with him then about his concept of youth, beauty and decay. Beauty, he told me then, is fragile. But as old things decay we tend to look more carefully at them because we know they will soon be gone.
The house on the development site will begone next week. So today I went and had a look at it before it goes. The first thing you see after you step over the mud and grime is a girl at the end of the hallway.
It seems that she is overcome by the destruction that is about to occur. And then I walked into the house and looked more closely.
And ever she is starting to decay.
In the next room, her bedroom perhaps, she seems to be looking at me as I enter the room she left so many years ago. Is she a ghost or is she real?
Across the hallway is the sitting room. This room has really started to decay and she looks ashen and ghostly.
And from the sitting room we go through into mother’s pride where the ornaments are displayed on the mantle piece.
And then into the kitchen.
And here we see an Alice, looking through a dolls house window. Will Alice grow up or always look young and beautiful. But we must leave now. So out through the back porch.
But before we go a look at the second bedroom, with hairbrush and make up left as she left it. Before the wreckers come.
So all the beauty is soon to turn to dust.
You can see more of his work including international stuff on http://r-o-n-e.com/
Here is the painting I saw last year the first time I had seen any of his work. It is in an old picture theatre.
I saw last year the first time I had seen any of his work. It is in an old picture theatre.