Thursday, 19 October 2017

Silo Art Trail in the Wimmera, Victoria

In September our Travellers group spent a few days in the Wimmera district in western Victoria. The main purpose was to visit the Silo Art Trail and enjoy the large scale art on decommissioned wheat silos.

We ventured across the border into South Australia to visit Coonalpyn where Guido van Helten has covered the silos in portraits of some local school children.

Back in Victoria we had an exciting day travelling the 200 km Silo Art Trail. First stop was Rupanyup where Julia Volchkova's depiction of a couple of young locals got us off to a very admirable start.

What a surprise as we approached the silos at Sheep Hills! All that rich colour in the open plains was stunning. Matt Adnate has portrayed the indigenous Australian culture with his usual sharp eye for detail.
I have read that he used 300 litres of house paint & 100 spray cans on this 30 metre by 40 metre 'canvas.'

The silos at Brim were the first to receive the rejuvenating coat of paint. Guido van Helten spent time getting to know his subjects, local farmers, and then working on the unusual surfaces of the silo. It took him three weeks, in soaring temperatures & wind, to complete the work of art.

The next silo on the route is at Rosebery, but the work had not commenced when we passed. Since then Kaff-eine has begun painting a local farmer and his horse, and reports indicate that it will be a worthy addition to the trail.

Rone is the street artist who changed the Lascelles silo from a disused landmark to a tourist attraction. A husband and wife farming couple are depicted at opposite end of the silos. All of these silos are 30 metres or more tall and present considerable challenges to the artists.

Last stop was Patchewollock. Here another local farmer has been immortalised on a silo, this time by Fintan Magee. The tree signifies re-growth and it is hoped that this art trail will rejuvenate the small and somewhat isolated communities and towns that are slowly fading. The aim of the Silo Art Trail is to get art out of the galleries and into people's everyday lives.

Full marks to the tiny community of Patchewollock who have taken this project to heart. They have a community run store and a delightful picnic spot with other art features to attract people to stop.
If you drive the Silo Art Trail be sure to stop in at the Patche community store and buy something. It was quite cold when we were there but we bought 

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