From eyesore to art project

August 22, 2017

The creation of the Brim silo kickstarted the Silo Art Trail, which street art network Juddy Roller's director Shaun Hossack hopes will continue to grow.

Although now becoming more common around Australia, using grain silos as canvases for art was perhaps not something that immediately came to people’s minds in the past when faced with the 30m-high concrete structures.

But one man saw the potential and decided to do something about it.

Benalla-raised Shaun Hassock developed a passion for street art that led him to create his network Juddy Roller.

Mr Hossack said he had been looking for a uniquely Australian idea for his latest project, when one day the thought came to him.

‘‘I started wracking my brain trying to come up with ideas and then I just thought of silos,’’ he said.

Mr Hossack reached out to Graincorp, and visited the small community of Brim in the Wimmera-Mallee to explore the potential to use its decommissioned silo as a canvas.

He said the residents of the small town, with a population of 261 and located 369km north-west of Melbourne, felt the silo just outside the township had become an eyesore.

‘‘I contacted the local community group that got behind the idea and then got in touch with the artist Guido van Helten, and they were all good to go!’’ he said.

‘‘So Guido just went to Brim and hung out, went to a few barbecues and got to know all the locals and then eventually started photographing everyone in the community and decided who would make the strongest impact on the silo.

‘‘Once the artist is there, they don’t really have a brief. The only brief they have is to represent the community in a meaningful way.’’

It was with this solitary silo at Brim that the Silo Art Trail got under way.

Mr Hossack fell in love with landscape and committed himself to creating the trail.

‘‘I thought, look, rather than water it down across Australia, let’s create a trail to make them special,’’ he said.

‘‘I approached the Yarriambiack Shire and the (Victorian) state government with the idea for the trail and they both thought it was a great idea, and later we also got the Federal Government on board and secured some funding — and the silo trail was born.’’

Although insisting it was simply a good idea at the right time, Mr Hossack said he loved seeing the concept take off and believed it would become the contemporary answer to The Big Banana in Coffs Harbour or The Big Pineapple in Woombye — something ‘‘uniquely Aussie’’.

■To see a video about the Brim silo, go to:

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