Located in the Wimmera Mallee, Victoria.
The Silo Art Trail is one of those inspired ideas. It started as a one-off project and has grown into six impressive and huge works of public art. Located in the Wimmera Mallee area of Victoria, they are a series of disused grain silos.
It is a journey of over 200 km from the town Rupanyup in the south. It also includes a small town which lies to the east of Horsham. Trailing through the Victorian towns of Sheep Hills, Brim, Rosebery and Lascelles to Patchewollock in the north. The distance between the silos can be completed in any direction. Each work of art stands by itself.
Located at the southern end of the Silo Art Trail is the town Rupanyup. Situated 294 km north-west of Melbourne via Ballarat and Ararat. It is 61 km north of Stawell.
Things to See and Do
A Day Journey
The Silo Art Trail can be seen, captured and witnesses in just a days trip. There is no reason, apart from personal pleasure, to linger longer than half an hour at any site. What you are looking at is basically huge images. Images of faces and people which have been painted on the sides of concrete grain silos.
It is sensible to do the journey starting in the morning. This is because most of the silos are best lit during the day. Please note that the lighting will never be perfect. The images at Rupanyup are at a different angle to the rest of the silos. The images at Lascelles are of the local farming couple – Geoff and Merrilyn Horman. These are unable to be photographed together as they are on opposite sides of two of the grain silos.
They are all ideal for photographers – impressive large grain silos on a flat landscape.
Our first photography tip is to use a wide-angle lens, particularly if you want to avoid power lines at Rupanyup.
Secondly, we recommend using a tool in Photoshop called ‘transform’. This can assist with correcting the inevitable lean produced by photographing huge objects from ground level.
Located on Gibson Street, seen to the east of the Wimmera Highway at the northern end of the main street. This is one of the simplest of the murals. Created by Russian mural artist, Julia Volchkova. Rupanyup depicts two local sporting team members – Ebony Baker and Jordan Weidemann.
It was completed in 2017 and is located on two Australian Grain Export steel grain silos.
Rupanyup Murial by Julia Volchkova. Source: Silo Art Trail
There is a sign off the Stawell-Warracknabeal Road that leads to the most photographed and admired of the murals. Painted by Melbourne-based artist Adnate’s. The appeal could be placed on Sheep Hills striking appearance, being completed with brilliant and bright colours.
Historically Adnate has often painted indigenous people. When commissioned, he developed a relationship with the local Barengi Gadjin Land Council. In 2016, he painted these huge images of Wergaia Elder (Uncle Ron Marks), a Wotjobaluk Elder (Aunty Regina Hood). Plus the couples two children, Savannah Marks and Curtly McDonald.
In the photographs, I have added some people to give an idea of the scale of the work which took only four weeks to complete.
Sheep Hills by Adnate. Source: Silo Art Trail
In 2015 Van Helten painted 30-metre high portraits of four farmers on the disused Brim silos. He was the first to complete portraits on the Silos. Inspiring a trend that, ultimately, led to the other murals being painted. The disused silos had been built in 1939 by GrainCorp.
Van Helten, a Brisbane based artist, used a cherrypicker for three weeks in 2016 to create the work using spray paint and acrylic house paint. Working for up to 10 hours a day, with temperatures up to 40°C and strong winds.
Upon seeing the result, the Brim Active Community Group president Shane Wardle figured it was the biggest thing to ever happen in the town. The town only consisted of about 100 people. They saw this as a welcome boost at a time of drought and a shrinking population.
Van Helten has also completed similar giant portraits in Ukraine, Norway, Italy, Denmark and Iceland.
GrainCorp came up with disused silos at Brim, which dominate the town facing west over the highway. Funds were provided by Regional Arts Victoria and the Yarriambiack Shire Council. The paint was donated by Taubmans and Loop Paints. The local caravan park and pub kindly provided free accommodation and meals.
To complete the work, Van Helten captured images of locals and mapped the work on a computer. The artist then faced the challenge of accommodating the silos’ curves.
Shane Wardle said the identities of the three men and one woman depicted were known but had not been publicised. “It’s about the art,” he said. “It’s trying to capture the spirit of the local area. And he’s done a great job.” The amusing thing was that it started a trend.
Brim by Guido Van Helton. Source: Silo Art Trail
Located beside the Henty Highway in this tiny settlement, the Rosebery mural was painted by Melbourne artist, Kaff Eine who came to the Wimmera Mallee region with fellow artist Rone. At the time Rone was painting the silos at Lascelles.
Rosebery features two images. The first is of a young female farmer in a work shirt, jeans and cowboy boots. The second image depicts a horseman in an Akubra hat, Bogs boots and an oilskin vest, with his horse. The two images are symbols of the local people who work on the farms in the surrounding area.
Rosebery by Kaff Eine. Image: Silo Art Trail
Located off Sunraysia Highway, easily seen from the road, are two images of a local farming couple, Geoff & Merrilyn Horman. Lascelles was painted by Melbourne artist, Rone, and completed in 2017. They are intentionally low key, which is typical of Rone’s work. Rone then added water to the paint to give both images a ghostly, slightly transparent and monochrome effect.
Lascelles by Rone. Image: Silo Art Trail
The Silos located at Patchewollock were completed by Fintan Magee, another Brisbane based artist. After meeting a number of locals, he decided to paint a local sheep and grain farmer, Nick ‘Noodle’ Hulland.
The artist selected Hulland not only because he saw him as a symbol of the local farmer (sun-bleached hair, flannelette shirt) but, very conveniently, because he was tall and lean, a frame that would easily fit on the 35-metre grain silo.
Patchewollock by Fintan Magee. Image: Silo Art Trail
Warracknabeal Tourist Information Centre is located at 119 Scott Street, Warracknabeal.
It is open seven days from 9.00am – 5.00pm. Phone (03) 5398 1632.
This story was written by Bruce Elder and was reposted by MyDiscoveries with permission.