Halfway up a ladder vibrating slightly in the autumn breeze, Perth street artist Stormie Mills grips a metal rung with one hand and points a spray can with the other.

The can hisses, a cloud of paint appears and the image of a white skull begins to take shape on the brick wall in front of the celebrated street artist.

A week after Mills was shocked to learn a piece of his art had been inadvertently painted over by City of Vincent workers as part of a WA Police graffiti crackdown, he began the process of repainting the wall yesterday.

As dusk fell, Mills was preparing to work through the night because of concerns a temporary fence being erected on the neighbouring vacant block could prevent him from getting access to his chosen canvas.

It is not known whether the fence was intended specifically to keep Mills out.

Mills' latest work, featuring a skeleton in a coffin, appeared distinctly on the morbid side.

"For me this is about the loss of freedom in our society," Mills said. "It's probably a bit more confrontational than my work would normally be.

"It's responding to it (the loss of his artwork) in a more political way than I would normally do things.

"I was going to build a scene around the skeleton in the coffin and I guess it is quite a dark painting. Maybe in the process of painting I'll be able to find a positive in all of this - that's my hope anyway."

Despite rain stopping him working for several hours, Mills said the painting had gone well.

The West Australian

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