I’ve been seeing photos of artwork on wheat silos for ages and decided it was time I saw the real thing, and so I headed for Benalla in Victoria’s north-east, and to the three little towns of Goorambat, Devenish and St. James.
The Goorambat community commissioned artist, Jimmy DVate, because of his passion for highlighting the plight of endangered species. He chose the Barking Owl, the most threatened owl in Victoria, with Northeast Victoria a remaining stronghold for the wild populations. Iron Bark tree hollows are important nesting sights for the owl, along with gliders, possums, rosellas and bats.
Clydesdale horses have always been the backbone of the Goorambat farming community. These are three of the local favourites: Clem on the left and Banjo on the right, both bred at Lavereen Stud, and Sam in the middle, grandson of Banjo.
Somehow I missed the Uniting Church, and so this beautiful mural of ‘Sophia’, by street artist Adnate. She is a depiction of the female aspect of the Holy Spirit.
Every little town in Australia seems to have a local pub.
The silos at Devenish were painted by Cam Scale. Stage one of the work depicts a WW1 nurse and a modern military medic, and represents the changing role of women in the military. It was unveiled on Anzac Day in 2018.
Stage two is a tribute to the Australian Light Horse, who served in the Boer War and WW1. It was unveiled on Anzac Day in 2019.
I continued to St. James. This mural, by Tim Bowtell, is of Sir George ‘G.J.’ Coles. Born in 1885, he was an Australian entrepreneur, who founded what was to become the Coles Group retail shopping empire.
He spent a large part of his childhood in St. James, and continued to return through his lifetime to catch up with friends. Through his generosity, he helped establish many of the town’s facilities.
Early forms of wheat transportation.
The Australian Silo Art movement began in Western Australia in 2015. There are currently 35 painted silos, along with around 60 water towers and a growing number of street art towns, one being Benalla.
My favourite of this group is the beautiful portrait of Clem, Sam and Banjo.