Concept could engage and inspire: Nathalia artist says

July 04, 2017

The Brim silo, painted by Guido Van Helten, has drawn tourists from across the country to the tiny Western district community.

Nathalia artist Bill Kelly.

Across the flat and sprawling landscape of the Goulburn Valley and Southern Riverina, among stretches of highway and towering trees, there are few things as constant as grain silos.

As Western District communities continue to complete their Silo Art Trail, which will feature six silos across the region transformed into works of art, it has become a source of inspiration for many, with each silo seen as a potential canvas.

Nathalia artist and former chairman of rural art centre the G.R.A.I.N. Store, Bill Kelly, said the concept had the potential to engage and inspire the local community in the process and even result in a ‘valley gallery’ across a number of towns that could reflect the communities that live with the silos.

‘‘It certainly could work (in our region) and it certainly could help some of the communities in terms of creating a new focal point,’’ Mr Kelly said.

‘‘If it is to be done in the valley it’s probably worthwhile having communities talking to each other so that there’s a potential for a trail.’’

The Silo Art Trail in the Western District incorporates a number of towns with silos including Brim, Patchewollock and Sheep Hills, largely funded through the state and federal governments with more than $450000 in funding going towards bringing the ideas of artists and the community to fruition.

Previously art installations in Dookie have featured opera singers on the top of the town’s silos, an illustration of the number of possibilities there are for the monolithic concrete, Mr Kelly said.

‘‘There’s a variety of media that could be used, it could be large tile mosaic, painting and projected images. There’s a lot of potential ideas,’’ he said.

While silo art has captured the imaginations of many, Campaspe Shire Mayor Adrian Weston said he’d be interest in expanding the concept outside of purely silos and paint.

‘‘It’s a great initiative that is worth investigating,’’ he said.

‘‘There has been a little bit of interest in Echuca at the water tower. The thought is to be a bit more innovative and use lights, like at Mooroopna, or projected images so we can differentiate from the Western District.’’

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