Silo art – the painting of otherwise drab, oversized grey silos, water tanks and towers across rural Australia with spectacular designs and images – has taken off in the Riverina.
It all began in the small town of Northam in Western Australia in 2015, then gained notoriety soon after with a trail developed across several towns in the Wimmera-Mallee region of Victoria, before the trend crossed the border to NSW six years ago.
Information and photos of all silo art in the Riverina and beyond can be found on the Australian Silo Art Trail website, which was created by grey nomads Annette and Eric Green.
If you’d like to kick off your own tour of the region, here is where you will find five of the best:
Narrandera’s contribution to this regional tourism trend caught the eye of NSW Premier Chris Minns, who posted a photo of this koala mural on a water tank on Facebook on 30 June.
“Now this is what I call incredible street art – and it’s not in Sydney it’s on an old silo in Narrandera in regional NSW,” he wrote. His post has thus far received 11,000 reactions and has been shared well over 1000 times.
According to the Australian Silo Art Trail website, the Narrandera Water Tower Art was painted by Apparition Media in May 2019 and was inspired by the work of Narrandera artist and Wiradjuri man Owen Lyons. The koala is an icon of the town, with a reserve established at the end of town in 1972 helping to revive the population of the much-loved native animal.
Wagga RAAF Base
This mural outside the RAAF Wagga Aviation Heritage Centre was commissioned in 2021 as part of a celebration and recognition of the centenary of the Royal Australian Air Force. Artist Sam Brooks said the design was created through a collaborative process between himself and current members of the RSL, RAAF members and local historians.
“The vision for the piece was to allow people to understand and connect to, the rich history and incredible contribution and sacrifice the Riverina residents made to our country during World War Two,” he wrote.
The Riverina’s first silo artwork was completed in Weethalle, a small town near West Wyalong, by Melbourne-based street artist Heesco in June 2017. The large-scale mural is a tribute to the rich agricultural heritage of the area. It was developed by a local committee comprising representatives from Bland Shire Council and the Weethalle community.
The Walla Walla water tower was painted by artist Damien Mitchell during a four-week period between April and May 2022. According to the Australian Silo Art Trail Facebook page, it depicts the town’s settlers and animals endemic to the area. The main focus of the mural is a large kangaroo standing by a gum tree. The project was financed by a grant from Riverina Water and through fundraising from the Walla Walla Silo Art committee and local donations.
The Uranquinty water tower is another work by artist Damien Mitchell, which he completed in just 10 days in February 2023.
The artwork, commissioned by the Uranquinty Progress Association, pays tribute to Len Waters, an Aboriginal World War II fighter pilot trained at the Uranquinty RAAF Training Base.
It will be officially opened Thursday 24 August 2023, the 30th anniversary of Mr Waters’ death.
Original Article published by Oliver Jacques on Region Riverina.