Wimmera Mallee to become largest outdoor gallery
VICTORIA’S Wimmera Mallee region is set to become Australia’s largest outdoor gallery with a new project to create a silo art trail stretching 200kms and linking some of Victoria’s smallest towns.
This ground-breaking initiative is the culmination of State, Federal and Local Government funding and will see the creation of five new silo artworks which will border GrainCorp’s Brim Silo, a 30 metre high artwork which has attracted thousands of visitors to Brim each month since it was launched in January.
Minister for Creative Industries Martin Foley has announced $200,000 in Victorian Government support towards the ambitious project, which will see renowned street artists transform grain silos in six small towns.
This funding will be further supported by $200,000 in Federal Government funding via the Drought Communities program. GrainCorp, who have long had a presence in the region, will provide an additional five silos to be used as canvases for the giant murals as part of their support over the first five years of the project, which is valued at approximately $200,000 and there is in kind support from the Yarriambiack Shire to the value of $50,000 and also ongoing support for the project.
“The Silo Art Trail is a ground-breaking project and an example of how creativity can revitalise a region and shape a new future for a community,” Mr Foley said.
“The Brim Silo project put Brim on the map, bringing in thousands of tourists to the town. This new project will spread the benefits across the region and showcase why Victoria is the creative state.”
Yarriambiack Shire Mayor, Cr Ray Kingston, echoed the Minster’s words: “I’m obviously incredibly excited about the economic opportunities the Silo Art Trail will bring to this whole region. But, personally, I think it’s also fantastic, and refreshing, to see our rural communities recognised and celebrated in such a positive and culturally interesting way. I couldn’t be more grateful to the people of Brim. They took an enormous step into the unknown by grabbing a pretty strange opportunity with both hands and it put the Yarriambiack Shire on the map.”
GrainCorp Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Mark Palmquist said: “We are delighted to be able to contribute to a visually inspiring and important community initiative, which will attract more visitors to this wonderful part of Victoria. For 100 years, our silos have shaped the landscape of many rural towns around Australia so we are thrilled to provide the canvas for this project.”
Led by the Yarriambiack Shire Council in partnership with Melbourne street art company Juddy Roller and Creative Director Shaun Hossack, the project will see internationally renowned street artists working closely with community members to create large-scale silo artworks that reflect, or tell a story of, the local community.
Victorian artists including Rone and Adnate will be part of the project, alongside Russian artist Julia Volchkova and a yet to be revealed secret Australian artist.
“The Australian artists involved in this project all have an international standing,” Mr Hossack said.
“They have each created work all over the world, so to have them working directly with the communities of Wimmera-Mallee region is really special. Each of them will create work of scale, that speaks directly to the people and place that each silo inhabits.”
Through the support of GrainCorp, the first silo in Patchewollock has just been completed by street artist Fintan Magee. Fintan’s work depicts Patche local, Nick “Noodle” Hulland. Hulland, a local sheep and grain farmer has lived in Patchewollock his entire life.
After meeting the local, Magee chose to depict him due his connection to the agricultural aspects of the region, his heritage and standing in the community.
The remaining silos will be painted one by one in the months ahead, with the full trail expected to be launched in mid-2017.