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Thread: Victoria's Silo Art Trail plus more.

  1. #1
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    Jan 2015
    Northern Suburbs Melbourne

    Victoria's Silo Art Trail plus more.

    Hi everyone,

    My eldest daughter Merissa had paid for accommodation so we could spend a weekend together visiting Victoria’s Silo Art Trail, a very special birthday gift. She is a very keen photographer (she has just opened her own professional photography business) so was keen to test out some new lenses, as well as wishing to spend some quality time with her old man!!.

    Our plan of attack was to start near the top end of the trail and then work our way back down south from where we would then head home.

    Doing it this way would help us with the light when trying to capture the different silos at their best. For instance the ones at Brim face west so if you were photographing them around midday each of the murals could be cast partly in bright sun and the other half in shadow. Each of the silos face a particular direction so it is up to the individual how you wish to capture them, each to his own!

    The Patchewollock silo is the furthest north but we would drive through Lascelles to get there so that was the first silo we were going to stop at.
    Just before there we stopped at a small park in the main street of Woomelanga on the Sunraysia Hwy, there a new amenities block with picnic tables and a newly planted garden had just been completed.

    Although a picnic could be had there, this giant snake head may have a few feeling a little uneasy if doing so!

    Just to the left of that was another piece of art that I was super impressed with, it was made up of layered pieces of metal, some call it multidimensional art and the title of this one was “Ducks On The Floor”

    There was so much detail in that piece of art, even rural scenes were painted outside the windows and door!

    We then came to Lascelles from the south, one of the first things we saw was The Drovers Hut Gallery which features some of Australia’s quirkiest corrugated iron sculptures created by the owners Phil and Marlene Rigg. It was shut when we were there, all of this and more can be seen out the front of their place.

    But it was the towns Silos that we had gone there to see.

    The 30 metre high Silos depict the faces of a local couple, Geoff and Merrilyn Horman who have been farming in the area along with their family for four generations. Born and then married in the town, they were chosen by the artist “Rone” who said they epitomised a family tradition of wheat farming, hard yakka and strong community involvement.

    The next one we visited was at Patchewollock on the Henty Hwy, about 20 ks west of the main road to Mildura. The 35 metre high mural is of a local farmer ,Nick Hulland who’s grandfather took up land in the area at the end of WW1 as part of the soldier settlement scheme.

    When Nick was chosen by artist Fintan Magee, he was a bit embarrassed by his new found notoriety, a quiet and reserved wheat and sheep farmer he said, “if it promotes our little town of Patchewollock then that’s good”

    The artist Fintan said he chose Nick because he was slim enough*to fit on to the two narrow*silos, and had "that classic farmer look", embodying the locals' spirit. The mural also depicts*a tree dying and new growth to represent the bush life cycle. He said the silos project*was about*making art more accessible;*"bringing art out of the galleries and making it part of people's everyday lives”.

    Just a few hundred metres from there were more pieces of art that you don't see everyday, five metre high corrugated iron Mallefowls grazing in the local park!

    These were created by the same artists who's work I showed you earlier when we first arrived at Lascelles, Phil and Marlene Rigg.

    A hundred metres south of them was the old Railway Station. I gather it was never real busy, it now stands forlornly, a reminder that times have moved on and things very rarely stay the same.

    We now headed south towards Warracknabeal where we were going to stay that night. The next thing of interest I’ll show you on our way there is another piece of metal work/art and this we saw beside Lake Lascelles which strangely enough is not found in Lascelles but basically in the centre of Hopetoun.

    15 ks south of Hopetoun is the latest Silo to be painted, the sixth in Victoria’s Silo Art trail. When we visited on the weekend of the 28th-29th of Oct. the silo at Roseberry was only days away from being completed.

    Melbourne street artist Katie Kaff-eine*said she wanted to paint something with people, animals and the relationship between us, them and the land.

    You get a sense of scale with these huge works of art when you see the cherry picker with artist and assistant in it up against the side of the silo.

    The next Silo we visited, and the last for that day was the one at Brim. It was here that the silo art trail in western Victoria started when in 2015 Brisbane artist Guido van Helton painted this mural and the rest as they say is history.

    The four people featured are locals, but remain anonymous as Guido wanted it to represent “the place, the community and the whole of the Wimmera region as a whole”

    To help you get a true sense of scale of the art work, in this next pic you can see Merissa standing at the base of them.

    From there we drove the last 45ks or so to Warracknabeal. After a short rest we sussed out a spot to view the sunset later in the day and a few other things around town.

    In the 1850s a cattle run was established in the area, the Scott brothers called it Warracknabeal an Aboriginal name meaning “big gums shading the water hole” or something similar. In 1861 a post office was opened and the town was off and running. A feature of the town is the Yarriambiak Creek which the locals make the most of as seen here.

    This water tower was constructed in 1886 to service steam trains arriving in town on the newly constructed rail line. It was also used to supply water to the town which it did until the end of WW1. In 1888 the station was built but that has since fallen on hard times after passenger services ended in the mid 1970s

    One of the oldest buildings still standing in town is this old police cell.

    We had a lovely tea at the historic Creekside Hotel located funnily enough, right beside the Yarriambiack Creek, we then drove a couple of ks out of town to witness the end to another great day out in the Aussie countryside.

    The sky showed potential so whilst it did it’s thing, I took these next few shots.

    And then back to why we stopped at this obscure spot beside a country road sort of in the middle of nowhere. A couple of concerned locals pulled up to ask if we were ok, when we explained we were fine, just taking photos of the sunset etc they gave a funny look, wished us well and drove off, probably thinking how weird us city slickers were Ha!

    How beautiful was all that, now all that Riss had to do was put up with the old blokes snoring, something she hadn’t had to do for quite some years!!

    I hadn’t taken a photo of the Creekside Hotel where we had tea the previous evening as the light was all wrong and I knew the sun would be better in the morning to take a pic. Of course Big Col was keen to get going early so we were quite a few ks out of town on the way to the next silo when I remembered I’d forgotten to take a pic of it, here’s one taken previously by others.

    That Hotel was first built in 1870, it burnt down the same year and then rebuilt shortly afterwards, the second story was added in 1890 when renovations were being carried out.

    About 15 ks south east of Warracknabeal is Sheep Hills, it was the name bestowed by Archibald McMillan on a farm he established there in 1847. A small community grew around a siding when the railway went through in 1886, there was never much there and today there is even less, an old pub (now privately owned) and of course these silos.

    The silo features four locals from the Wimmera region, Aboriginal elders Regina Hood, Ron Marks (brother of Skid!) and two children, 9 year old Curtly McDonald and Savannah Marks aged 2.

    Internationally acclaimed Melbourne artist Matt Adnate painted the Indigenous-themed mural saying, “the murals represent the passing of knowledge from one generation to another”. I love the detail of the faces, the eyes in particular.

    For more info on this artist, click on this link. He does amazing work!

    We now drove to the final silo located basically right in the town of Rupanyup.

    Siberian born Russian street artist Julia Volchkova was thrilled to be asked to become involved with Silo Art Trail. She said “I chose to paint young people in their sports gear, as I have recently painted elderly people in my last project in Malaysia, and had not painted young faces for a long time plus I love sports”.

    The giant silver-painted steel bin grain silos now feature two local residents, both members of the local Rupanyup Football and Netball Club.

    Jordan Weidemann, a 16-year-old footy player, was at training one night "kicking around with the boys" when he was selected by the artist.
    "It's pretty cool but you get a bit of crap from the boys, but that's all part of it I guess," Jordan laughed.

    The other face is 25-year-old naturopath Ebony Baker, who was selected as she was about to jump onto the netball court during training. With a long family history of farming in the area, she said she was extremely proud to represent her community.

    Both pretty good looking dudes I reckon.

    No visit to this spot is complete unless you stroll the 20 metres or so to the old Rupanyup Railway Station, (built in 1890 and closed in 1934). It’s not just the building which is quite old and historic, but the body behind it is also becoming notorious as well.

    Since my last visit the body hasn’t deteriorated much but I noted that some low life has knocked of his glasses Ha!

    My previously taken pic.

    We were a little surprised how quiet Rupanyup was as we had planned to have breakfast/morning tea there, but there was nowhere suitable. All along the trail there was a constant flow of visitors stopping to take pics and we both commented how some places were doing better or providing more for the tourists than others. Numbers maybe not quite there to keep a shop or business going yet, but if it is opened it will attract more and more as time goes by and the numbers visiting these towns will grow.

    The main street of Rupanyup.

    Other than a few virgin roads crossed of my map and a couple of quick stops for refreshments etc, it was heads down and bums up for home, arriving there early afternoon, just under 960 ks driven for the weekend.

    What a brilliant gift I was given, what a fantastic couple of days I had with my daughter, sharing our passion for photography and time together.

    Life is not a destination but a journey, make the most of it and remember, the worst day above ground is a whole lot better than the best one under it.

  2. #2
    Administrator pacs's Avatar
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    Apr 2012
    Bendigo Victoria
    Nice Col always enjoy reading your trip reports and photos thanks for sharing mate
    Fishing for a good time starts with dropping in a line

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    Follow ujs on Insta and Facebook @pacs_adventures #4wdadventurerscom @4wdadventurers Facebook Thanks Greg

  3. #3
    Busy planning trips and mods... Red GU's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    That is a great collection of pics. I didn't realise there were so many painted silos. A friend of ours has been involved with getting their local silos painted so if you are ever near Goorambat it is worth a look, I've not yet seen it in the flesh myself but the pics I've seen look wonderful.

    Dave and Fiona

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