Back in 2015 FORM joined forces with Grain cooperative CBH Group and painted the first ever mural on an Australian grain silo… little did they know that this would spark a nationwide trend and initiate a ground breaking cultural tourism experience across Australia.
We started our blog series with The (Wimmera-Mallee) Silo Art Trail, an incredible drive through the Wimmera and Mallee Regions of Victoria, then the South Australia Silo Art Trail, Now we take you to western Australia for the PUBLIC Silo Trail.
The PUBLIC Silo Trail has evolved from FORM’s PUBLIC festival of art and ideas (2014-2016) which created more than 170 artworks in public spaces across metropolitan and regional Western Australia.
PUBLIC expanded beyond Perth’s city limits in 2015 through a partnership with the CBH Group; the State’s primary grain handler. In its pilot phase the partnership commissioned two major artworks on the grain silos in Western Australia’s Wheatbelt town of Northam by international artists Phlegm (UK) and Hense (USA). Based on the positive response to this pilot project, FORM and CBH Group extended their partnership to deliver a second major silo artwork installation in the Goldfields-Esperance town of Ravensthorpe. Since 2015, a further four sites have been added to the trail in Merredin, Albany, Newdegate and Pingrup, which have now become part of the completed PUBLIC Silo Trail.
“It’s a trail that invites people to explore their state by putting art in unexpected places, and using creativity to celebrate the agricultural assets that form the backbone of our economy.” Lynda Dorrington, FORM Executive Director
The Northam Silos were painted by two artists. Phlegm and Alex Brewer, aka Hense. Phlegm’s inspiration for his artwork comes from Northam’s rich history in aviation, as Northam is renowned for its ballooning and gliding activities.
Hense chose an abstract kaleidoscope of rich vibrant colours for his silos.
The next Silo in the PUBLIC Silo Trail takes you to the Merredin silos by artist Kyle Hughes-Odgers. The artwork celebrates the story of Merredin in its natural environment. It portrays the community in the form of abstract figures, the land and its agricultural history.
The third Silo in the PUBLIC Silo Trail takes you to the Newdegate Silos by Brenton See. The Newdegate Silos feature the Western Bearded Dragon, the Red Tailed Phascogale, which is a rare marsupial found only in the Western Australian Wheatbelt. A Malleefowl, which is another local bird of the area and finally on the last silo is an emblematic depiction of the region. It features a shape like a drop of water, half-white, half-teal. The white represents the salt lakes and the teal represents the freshwater lakes and rain. In the background are coloured squares showing how the land appears from above, green for the bushland areas and brown, orange and red for the dirt and rocks.
The fourth Silo in the PUBLIC Silo Trail takes you to Pingrup Silos by Evoca1. Pingrup is a very small rural town in the Great Southern of Western Australia, and these silos depict the rural community, the towns iconic Pingrup races, its Merino sheep, its farmers and cattle dogs and even its iconic blue tractor which can be found in the main street of town.
The fifth Silo in the PUBLIC Silo Trail takes you to the Ravensthorpe Silos. The silos were painted by a Fremantle artist by the name of Amok Island. The silo depicts a wildflower scene with the “Six Stages of Banksia baxteri”. There is one stage painted on each silo, from flower buds, to full bloom, to seed pods developing, to drying out and opening. This particular pieces of Banksia is a native to Western Australia and only between Esperance and Albany. The animals depicted are the Honey Possum and the New Holland Honey Eater which are the main pollinators for the Banksia plant.
“This is art that tells a story about a people or a place, whether it’s the budding cycle of Ravensthorpe’s wildflowers or the beautiful species of seadragon found only off the coast in Albany”. Lynda Dorrington, FORM Executive Director
The sixth Silo in the PUBLIC Silo Trail takes you to the Albany Silos and were painted by Yok & Sheryo. The two artists paint the Ruby Seadragon, a very rare sea creature that inhabits the coast of Western Australia and only confirmed discovery in 2015!
Photo Credit: Street art enthusiast blogger Annette Green, of Great Australian Adventure. You can connect with Annette Green’s sharing platform Australian silo Art Trail where Annette has collected all of Australia’s wonderful silo art in one place.
“The Australian Silo Art Trail is a platform developed by a dedicated enthusiast in 2018, that brings together all the silos across Australia in one place. The Australian Silo Art Trail acknowledges the project creators and artists of each artwork, in each state, these include Western Australia, South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland.”