Saturday, 23 November 2019

The Silo Art Trail of North-East Victoria

silo art Australia
Silo art has taken off in Australia. In March 2015 the small town of Northam in Western Australia engaged two artists to paint murals on the 'canvas' of the town's grain silos. Brim, a country town in Victoria, followed up with its own painted silo, then Ravensthorpe in Western Australia and then Patchewollock and Sheep-Hills (don't you just love the names) also in Victoria. Not to be outdone, towns without silos embraced the idea and painted water tanks and towers. Before long there were painted silos, towers and tanks popping up all over the country and a movement was born - a peculiarly Australian movement.

Today there is silo art in almost every corner of the country. With more than 100 painted silos, water tanks and towers across more than 7,500 kms, following silo art trails has become the ultimate Australian road trip.

David and I first heard about silo art when we passed through the tiny outback town of Ravensthorpe in September 2016. We were on a road trip from Perth to Esperance in Western Australia when someone asked us -  'Did you see the painted silo?' Oooppps - the answer was no. Somehow in a town with a population of less than 500 people we managed to miss it. I thought it was just a one-off and we would never get another chance to see a silo mural. Three years later, road-tripping through Kelly Country, we stumbled across the Silo Art Trail of North-East Victoria. We spent a day tracking down silos and being awed by them, and in the process we discovered a passion for freshly painted towering cylinders of concrete - well I discovered a passion, I'm not so sure about David. My only question is which silo art trail to drag him to next!

The Silo Art Trail of North-East Victoria

Goorambat


The silo art trail begins at Goorambat, 200 kms north east of Melbourne and 16 kms north of Benalla. Goorambat has silos painted in 2018 and 2019 by artist Jimmy DVate. Milli, the Barking Owl was painted in 2018 with the hope of bringing attention to her status as an endangered species. Clem, Sam and Banjo, the Clydesdale Horses, were painted in 2019.

Goorambat Silo
Clydesdale horses Clem, Sam and Banjo at Goorambat Silo.

Goorambat Silo
Milli the endangered Barking Owl and her habitat

While you are at Goorambat don't miss the mural 'Sophia' in the town's Uniting Church.


Sophia
'Sophia' of Goorambat


Devenish


13 kms north of Goorambat are the silos of Devenish. Painted in 2018 and 2019 by Cam Scale they pay tribute to the men and women from this small community who enlisted in World War I, and honour those who never returned.

Silo Art Trail Devenish
Painted Silo at Devenish

Silo Art trail north-east Victoria
Devenish Silo



Painted Silos in Devenish

St James


From Devenish head north for a further 8 kms to St James. A collection of four murals on the St James silos were painted by Tim Bowtel.

I don't know how it happened but we missed this one so I don't have a photo. Actually I do know how it happened, we went to Winton Wetlands first and got lost in the maze of dirt tracks which look like they lead to an exit but don't - that's a story for another time. My advice, if you want to see all the silos in a day - leave Winton Wetlands to last!

Tungamah


Tungamah, 15 kms north of St James was another casualty of our lost wanderings around Winton Wetlands. Don't get me wrong, as the largest wetland restoration project in the southern hemisphere Winton Wetlands is a fascinating place, especially if you read up a little on its history but Google Maps doesn't cut it when it comes to finding your way out again.

Luckily, fellow travel blogger Lindsay from Frugal Folicker, has come to my rescue with a photo of the Tungamah silo. The Tungamah murals were created by Sobrane and show kookaburras, brolgas and other native Australian birds. Since Lindsay's photo was taken more birds have been added including my favourite, the galah.


Silo Art Trail Victoria
Tungamah Silos

Winton Wetlands


We may have got lost trying to leave Winton Wetlands but we found the painted water tank first, along with a delightful mural. The water tank, at the end of Boggy Bridge Rd, was painted by Guido van Helten and depicts three volunteers from the local Country Fire Authority. The mural, at Greens Hill lookout and picnic area, was painted by Davidson Lopes and is called Wren & Finch. Both are part of the Art in the Landscape trail at the wetlands.

Winton Wetlands is 15 kms east of Goorambat and 57 kms south-east of Tungamah. You can pick up a map from the Benalla Visitor Information Centre or download a PDF version from this link. Be very wary of the the Nelson Rd exit toward Benalla-Yarrawonga Rd. A small print note on the map, which we didn't notice until later, states the road condition is poor and subject to closure. After several kilometres of bumpy, pot-holed dirt road we came to a creek crossing far too deep for our two-wheel drive car.  The entrance via Lake Mokoan Rd was fine and in the end we left that way as well.

Water tank art on silo art trail of north-east Victoria
Water tank at Winton Wetlands


Art in the landscape at Winton Wetlands
Wren & Finch at Winton Wetlands



Useful Information


  • Pick up a pamphlet on the North-East Victoria Silo Art Trail in Benalla at the Visitor Information Centre or download one from the link here. If you use the pamphlet also check the website for any new silos. I realise now that we missed the St James silo because the map in the pamphlet was out of date.
  • Visiting the silos is free and there is always a place to park but you can show your appreciation by supporting the economies of these small towns. Stop and have lunch or a coffee, fill up your petrol tank, or visit the local pub.

Save this for later pin it to Pinterest

Silo Art


Read my other posts on Victoria here.

If you would like to follow our travels, enter your email address in the 'Never miss a post: Follow by email' box in the right hand side bar just below my profile picture. On a mobile device scroll to the bottom of the page past the comments section and click on 'web version' first.

14 comments:

  1. Something I certainly want to do one day. Great to see the photos, but even better to experience the scale of this art in person. We stumbled across a few on a road trip from Sydney to Birdsville.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would love to track more down. I imagine the one's in the outback were pretty stunning!

      Delete
  2. Wow! Those are amazing! We've seen just a few painted solos in the US, but almost always they're abstract, geometrical works. Colorful, but not really striking like the ones you photographed. Truly works of art!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I thought silo art was a peculiarly Australian thing. Interesting you have seen some in the US. We do a lot of road trips there with a road trip through Texas coming up next year so I will have to do some research and see if I can find a few.

      Delete
  3. The silo art trail is something I want to do, one day. We have seen a few here in WA. Those you have included look pretty amazing, all the artists have done such a great job

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We missed the silo art at Ravensthorpe in WA a few years ago when it was one of the only ones around. Somehow we not only drove through Ravensthorpe but also stopped, drove around, and went to a wildflower exhibit there and managed to not see the silo. One day we'll go back - I hope. Somehow the vast, empty expanses of W.A are the perfect backdrop for silo art.

      Delete
  4. We are in Melbourne a lot coz a daughter makes it her home. But Brim is 4 hours away. I hope I can visit this. I've seen a few in US towns but this is a good collection.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you take a look at the map at the website for the Australian Silo Art Trail there is a map showing where all the silo art is. Brunswick Silo and Fyansford Cement Works Silos are very close to Melbourne. There is a link to the website under 'Useful Information' in my post.

      Delete
  5. These are so cool! I love when people take time to make everyday objects beautiful.
    (Found you on the Weekend Wanderlust FB community, btw!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have yet to see a piece of silo art I didn't think was stunning. It helps that none of the murals are more than a few years old.

      Delete
  6. I love this post as I love street art. I would thoroughly enjoy the Silo Art Trail of North-East Victoria. A trip to Australia is on my bucket list!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope you make it here one day. If you do the silo art trails will be waiting!

      Delete
  7. Thanks for introducing me to Silo Art. I've never heard of it before this. And I really enjoying viewing the images you include in your post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My pleasure. It's one more reason to visit Australia!

      Delete