For more than a hundred years, grain silos doting the plains across the Wimmera-Mallee region of Victoria, Australia, have defined the state's rural landscape. Now these grain towers will provide a new aesthetic as they are transformed into enormous works of art paying tribute to the regions' farmers.
In December 2015, Brisbane street artist Guido Van Helten created a gigantic mural spread across four disused silos in the town of Brim, capturing the imagination of the town and inspiring a new project to create a “silo art trail” featuring murals painted on silos throughout Victoria's north-west. When completed sometime this year, the trail will cover 200 km connecting six small farming communities across the Wimmera-Mallee. The project, which is being touted as the country's biggest outdoor gallery, is expected to draw thousands of tourists which should help the local economy and boost the morale of the communities hit hard by drought.
The trail starts at Rupanyup, where Russian Artist Julia Volchkova has painted a monochrome mural featuring two local Rupanyup sportsperson—netballer Ebony Baker and footballer Jordan Weidemann.
The next stop is Sheep Hills, where a massive colourful mural depicting four indigenous faces has been painted on six grain silos. The towering portraits has symbolic significance to the local people.
Continuing north on the “Silo Art Trail” will take you to Brim, where Guido Van Helten’s famous mural ‘Farmer Quartet’ is located. The scene depicts four Brim residents and representative of the drought-stricken farming community. The mural became an instant regional landmark and provided the inspiration for the Silo Art Trail project.
The next destination on the trail is Rosebery, where painting has not yet started. So we’ll move to the next stop, Lascelles. Here, Melbourne street artist Rone has painted intimate portraitures of two local wheat farmers, Geoff and Merrilyn Horman, looking out over the rural landscape. Horman’s families have lived and farmed in the area for four generations.
The Silo Art Trail ends at the town of Patchewollock, where Brisbane-based street artist Fintan Magee, painted a giant mural depicting local sheep and grain farmer, Nick ‘Noodle’ Hulland. Nick was chosen for his ‘classic farmer looks’ and his strong connection to the farming community.