In the last few years some extraordinary artworks have appeared across Australia. The unlikely canvases for these works are the towering grain silos that dominate numerous small wheat-growing country towns. The landmark edifices, painted by renowned street artists, are attracting an increasing number of visitors who travel long distances to view the breathtaking, monumental murals that depict the local people, history and natural environment.
“Silo art projects have been appearing across Australia since 2015 and are a magnificent symbol of the local people, natural environment, history and industries that are at the heart of these rural communities,” said Australia Post Philatelic Manager Michael Zsolt.
“The remarkable painted grain silos have revitalised the local towns, many of which have suffered from drought or population attrition. These murals have put these small country towns firmly on the national and international map, attracting an increasing number of visitors.”
The silo art featured on the four domestic base-rate ($1) stamps are:
Guido Van Helten, Brim (Victoria): The first silo art in eastern Australia was commissioned in Brim, Victoria as an initiative of artist Guido van Helten, silo owner GrainCorp and local community organisation Brim Active Group. The 30-metre-tall artwork depicts three men and one woman, wearing hats to shield their faces from the midday sun, and was completed over a three week period. The success of the mural as a tourist attraction encouraged the Yarriambiack Shire to commission five additional GrainCorp silo murals, now known as the Wimmera-Mallee Silo Art Trail.
Drapl and The Zookeeper, Thallon (Queensland): The four 30-metre-high, 40-metre-wide silos in Thallon were painted as part of a co-initiative between the artists (Drapl and The Zookeeper), the Thallon Progress Association and GrainCorp. Entitled Watering Hole the mural depicts aspects of Thallon, including the spectacular sunsets, the picturesque Moonie River, a scarred tree acknowledging the community’s indigenous history and sheep to reference the wool industry.
Amok Island, Ravensthorpe (Western Australia): Artist Amok Island was commissioned by FORM agency on behalf of silo owners CBH Group to paint their three silos located in Ravensthorpe. Titled Six Stages in Banksia baxteri, the mural depicts local flora and fauna, with each side of the three silos showing a different stage in the flowering cycle of the banksia, an endemic species to the area.
Heesco Khosnaran, Weethalle (New South Wales): The first silo mural to be created in New South Wales can be found in the Central West town of Weethalle. Inspired by Victoria’s silo trail, the Bland Shire Council called for applications from artists Australia-wide to undertake the project. Heesco Khosnaran was the successful artist selected by the council and community representatives; drawing inspiration for his murals from photographs representing the district’s main agricultural activities: shearing and wheat growing.
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