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The Grampians guide to self-discovering Australia’s largest outdoor gallery: The Silo Art Trail

23 Jul. 2020

The Silo Art Trail is known as Australia’s biggest outdoor gallery, truly an incredible experience which celebrates the rich heritage of Victoria's Wimmera Mallee region.

Spread out over 200 kilometres, our regions Silo Art Trail features six wheat silos dating back to the 1930s.

Where some saw rural decay and rusty railway tracks lined with disused grain silos, street artists saw huge concrete canvases. Each of the silos have been transformed by artists from around the world who tell a story about the local people through their art. From the hard-working farmers, Indigenous Elders, and the sports-loving youth, these agricultural giants have revitalised small towns and signify the true spirit of the Wimmera Mallee

One of the best ways to approach the Silo Art Trail is from the south, starting in Melbourne, Ballarat, or Horsham. Depending on the type of trip you’re taking we suggest covering the entirety of these six silos over at least two days. Our suggestion would be making Horsham your home base and exploring each region from here, you can discover our list of recommended accommodation.

Our guide below, allows you to cruise from town to town and witness this innovative art project that sees renowned street artist from Australia and across the globe transform wheat silos into large-scale murals that tells the stories of our community and culture.

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St Arnaud’s, Kyle Torney

Your first stop on the Silo Art Trail should be the Silos in St Arnaud. This installation is the newest addition to the Silo Art Trail, painted by Ktorney Art, aka Kyle Torney, local man from St Arnaud.

During the 1800's ‘Hope’ was about a miner looking for a fleck of gold in his pan. For his wife there was the 'Hope' she will be able to buy food and clothing for her family. And the community's ‘Hope’ that a young child will prosper.

Kyle is a sixth-generation resident of St Arnaud who has completed a number of murals throughout the town, drawing upon his own upbringing and family history for inspiration.

Rupanyup silo

Rupanyup, Julia Volchkova

Secondly, head to Rupanyup to see Julia Volchkova's mural of local sporting team members, Ebony Baker and Jordan Weidemann.

Russian artist, Julia, turned her attention to the town’s youth and their great love of team sport. Her work vividly captures the spirit of community and provides an accurate insight into rural youth culture.

Completed over several weeks and unveiled in early 2017, the mural quietly honours the integral role that sport and community play in rural Australian populations.

Sheep Hills silo

Sheep Hills, Adnate

From Rupanyup, drive on to Sheep Hills to see Adnate's dramatic addition to the Silo Art Trail.

Adnate’s portraits of Wergaia Elder Uncle Ron Marks, Wotjobaluk Elder Aunty Regina Hood, Savannah Marks and Curtly McDonald celebrate the Australian Indigenous culture of northwest Victoria.

The Melbourne-based artist is famous for his paintings of Indigenous people and their land. The Sheep Hills mural features a depiction of local Elders alongside young kids, as a means of signifying the importance of passing down wisdom and customs from one generation to another while the night sky represents elements of local dreaming.

Adnate spent four weeks with the community in late 2016 to conceive and complete the mural. He says that he sought to shine a spotlight on the area’s young Indigenous people and highlight the strong ancestral connection that they share with their Elders.

Brim Silo

Brim, Guido van Helten

Journey on to Brim to see Guido van Helten's silo artwork, the very first in Victoria. It portrays four anonymous, local farmers, demonstrating the strength and resilience of the local community.

Being the first of these silo arts to appear in Victoria, the Brim Silo has received international acclaim and shone a spotlight on the Wimmera Mallee region which inspired the establishment of the Silo Art Trail.

Completed in early 2016, with limited financial resources, van Helten’s mural illustrates anonymous female and male farmers from various generations. By rendering the figures as both central and peripheral, present and absent, the work explores shifting notions of community identity at a time when rural populations face both economic pressure and consequences of climate change.

Rosebery silo

Rosebery, Kaff-eine

Next stop, Rosebery for female artist, Kaff-eine’s silo artwork.

Before commencing her work in Rosebery, Melbourne artist, Kaff-eine spent time in the Mallee assisting fellow artist Rone on his Lascelles silo project. While she was assisting Rone, Kaff-eine discovered neighbouring towns, exploring the natural environment and familiarising herself with local business owners, families, farmers and children – all with the focus to develop a concept for the Rosebery Silos.

As the only female artist here, Kaff-eine’s artwork represents themes that embody the Mallee's past, present and future through a young lady sheep farmer as well as a horseman.

The silo on the left captures the regions strong, young female farmers which symbolises the future, while the right silo portrays a quiet moment of connection and trust between dear friends – man and horse.

*Our note, before venturing onto the next town, after Rosebery we suggest making your way to Horsham for the night. Take the time to discover the historic township with our guide

Lascelles silo

Lascelles, Rone

Continue on to Lascelles, where Melbourne-based artist Rone has illustrated local farming couple Geoff and Merrilyn Horman, on either side of the town's silo.

This an unearthly representation of a local farming couple, whose family has farmed in the area for four generations, have been portrayed as wise and knowing, nurturing the town’s future with their vast farming experience and longstanding connection to the area.

Patchewollock silo

Patchewollock, Fintan Magee

Travel up to Patchewollock to see Brisbane artist, Fintan Magee's towering portrait of local sheep and grain farmer, Nick 'Noodle' Hulland.

The Patchewollock Silo was inspired by a muse that Fintan met at a pub after he booked a room to immerse himself in the community. Fintan met local sheep and grain farmer, Nick “Noodle” Hulland, during his stay and knew that the rugged, lanky local exemplified the no-nonsense, hardworking spirit of the region – yes, Noodle was to be his muse.

Completed in late 2016, the artist’s interpretation of the famous “Noodle” renders an image of the typical Aussie farmer – faded blue “flanny”, solemn expression, sun-bleached hair and squinting gaze – all of which speak to the harshness of the environment and the challenges of life in the Wimmera Mallee.

Kitt Albacutya Silo41

Albacutya, Kitt Bennett

Ten kilometres north of Rainbow lies the quirky, colourful and more modern take on Silo Art at Albacutya Silo.

Melbourne artist Kitt Bennett was inspired to, “create an artwork that tells a story of growing up in the country as a youth. I have fond memories of exploring the bush and looking for yabbies under rocks in creeks with my parents. Reflecting on this weird and wonderful time as an adult is something that brings me a lot of happiness.”

Kaniva Silo

Kaniva, David Lee Pereira

The Kaniva Silo artwork pays tribute to the nearby Little Desert and its diverse flora and fauna.

The design features the Australian Hobby bird. Smaller than other falcons, it is one of six Australian members of the family ‘Falconidae’. The Australian Hobby is relatively slender and long-winged. It is often seen hunting in vegetated urban areas, as well as in almost any lightly timbered country. To the left of the bird is the plains sun orchid (Thelymitra megacalyptra) with the salmon/pink sun orchid (Thelymitra rubra) on the right. Flowering occurs between September and November, and they generally only open on warm, humid days.

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Goroke, Geoffrey Carran

Artist Geoffrey Carran was heavily inspired by the birdlife in West Wimmera Shire when creating the Goroke silo art. The word Goroke is the local Aboriginal word for magpie, so the native bird was a great fit for the design. Geoffrey then expanded the idea to include other native birds, including a kookaburra and galah. His love of birds has meant they are a regular subject of his artwork.

Beyond these nine silos, more artists have additional murals nearby that are definitely worth stopping by.

For more information on where to eat, pick up the best coffee or other local secrets in the Wimmera Mallee head on over to our neighbours at Visit Wimmera Mallee for all the most up to date information

Before visiting us, we recommend you review your travel plans in line with the latest safety guidelines: www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert. And take a look at our guide to travelling the Grampians responsibly and safely.