Silo Art Trail
Wimmera Mallee – Silo Country
The Silo Art Trail celebrates regional Australia in a modern and accessible artistic context. The silos have been strategically selected for maximum visual impact and to ensure visitors have the opportunity to engage with multiple communities and outback tourism destinations in the Wimmera and Mallee region.
Historically, silos are a place for the farming communities to come together during harvest, exchange news and stories and re-connect with old friends while the grain is unloaded. Of late, changes in the agricultural industry have led to many communities losing active silo sites. The Silo Art Trail has provided an opportunity to reinvigorate decommissioned sites and celebrate local communities and farming history.
Guido Van Helten captured the imagination of Australia in December 2015 when he undertook a gigantic painting on the Brim Silos. The Brim Silo Art generated inspiration for the Silo Art Trail and Guido’s mural will remain an iconic tribute to the farming communities of the Wimmera and Mallee region.
Fintan Magee is a Brisbane based street artist who painted the Patchewollock Silos in October 2016. Local farmer ‘Noodle Hulland’ was chosen for the inspiration of the artwork because he was slim enough to fit the two narrow silos and had “that classic farmer look”, embodying the locals’ spirit.
Russian Artist Julia Volchkova is actively involved in the graffiti and street art movement in the places she travels and is currently undertaking the huge metal grain storage bins in Rupanyup as part of the Silo Art Trail. Julia’s work focuses on portraits and the Rupanyup Silo Art mural is inspired by the Rupanyup Panthers Football & Netball Club.
Adnate is an internationally renowned street artist, famous for his work with Aboriginal communities across Australia and completed the mural in December 2016. The four indigenous faces now watch over the tiny community of Sheep Hills and the starry background of the towering portraits has symbolic significance to the local people.
Renowned Melbourne Street Artist Rone has depicted the faces of Lascelles couple Geoff and Merrilyn Horman. Geoff and Merrilyn’s families have lived and farmed in the area for four generations.
Born in the district, the couple married in Lascelles in 1967 and together with their two sons (and their own families) have continued the family traditions of wheat farming and strong community involvement. So how did the humble country couple come to be chosen as subjects of a large-scale mural by one of Australia’s leading artists? “To really understand the essence of the place, I wanted to find people who had lived here all their lives and get a sense of what the town has been through over the years”, explains Rone. “With a population of just 48 people, I’ve been fortunate to have already met most of the town here in Lascelles”, he continues. “After a lot of discussion with the locals, I found my subjects.” Now, Geoff and Merrily Horman look over their hometown of Lascelles and the Mallee area.
Before commencing work in Rosebery, Melbourne artist, Kaff-eine spent time in the Mallee assisting fellow artist Rone on his Lascelles silo project. During this time, Kaff-eine travelled to neighbouring towns, discovering the natural environment and acquainting herself with local business owners, families, farmers and children – all with the view to developing a concept for these GrainCorp silos which date back to 1939. Completed in late 2017, Kaff-eine’s artwork depicts themes that she says embody the region’s past, present and future. The silo on the left captures the grit, tenacity and character of the region’s young female farmers, who regularly face drought, fires and other hardships living and working in the Mallee. In her work shirt, jeans and turned-down cowboy boots, the strong young female sheep farmer symbolises the future. The silo on the right portrays a quiet moment between dear friends. The contemporary horseman appears in Akubra hat, Bogs boots and oilskin vest – common attire for Mallee farmers. Both man and horse are relaxed and facing downward, indicating their mutual trust, love and genuine connection.