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Reflecting the community key to silo art says Nathalia artist

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August 01, 2017

Nathalia artist Bill Kelly says any silo art needs to reflect the community it exists in.

A silo in Ravensthorpe, 540km south east of Perth, was completed last year by Dutch street artist Amok Island featuring the regions unique wildflowers.

They’ve featured local faces, flora and fauna and picturesque landscape scenes, with towering concrete silos now dominating the artistic landscape across three states and otherwise flat, arid land.

With a number of silos laying dormant across the Goulburn Valley and Southern Riverina region, the latest artist trend has caught the attention of many.

Regardless of what features on the silos, Nathalia artist Bill Kelly said it was key that silo art reflected the community it sits in and avoided ‘‘helicopter art’’ that could be placed anywhere in the country.

‘‘Any artwork should be something that responds to the local community and that those communities have a say and have a chance to be involved in the decision,’’ Mr Kelly said.

While the Silo Art Trail in the west of Victoria has featured 30m tall portraits of local faces and well known personalities from each town, Mr Kelly believes there’s an abundance of potential inspiration should towns be interested in taking the larger than life project on.

He said engaging with the community to generate feedback on ideas, concept and process would be beneficial for all and central to the success of any artwork featured on such a large scale and public piece of canvas.

‘‘There may be other ideas they have that relates to their landscape, the history of the town or historical characters or individuals,’’ he said.

‘‘It’s important to include individuals in the conversation, in particular the indigenous community, to see what role they may play or what contribution they may have to the art as well.

‘‘It has to be the community that makes the decision.’’

While the current focus of silo art has been to use paint to create large scale artworks on their faces, Mr Kelly suggested that other forms of media could be utilised in the creation of art unique to the region.

‘‘It could be large tile mosaic, paintings or projected images,’’ he said.

‘‘The permanent artwork is an obvious thought because it does allow it to become more of a tourist attraction and ultimately helps stimulate tourism and the local economy.’’

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