The Silo Art Trail in the Wimmera Mallee region of Australia is one of the biggest outdoor galleries in the world. It’s an area where grain silos have decorated the landscape for years. This is farming land but now many of those silos have been painted with huge murals from some of the worlds best street artists.
It’s hardly what you’d expect in an area which boasts fields as far as the eye can see. The Wimmera and Mallee regions are two distinct areas within North West Victoria. The Silo Art Trail has breathed new life into communities across the area. The first mural in the small hamlet of Brim was painted in 2015 and more have since been added.
- Map of the Wimmera Mallee Silo Art Trail
- Silo Art in Australia
- Silo Art Trail Gallery
- Albacutya – Kitt Bennett (2021)
- Arkona – SMUG (2022)
- Brim – Guido van Helten (2015)
- Goroke – Geoffrey Carran (2020)
- Horsham – SMUG (2022)
- Kaniva – David Lee Peirera (2020)
- Lascelles – Rone (2017)
- Nullawil – Smug (2019)
- Patchewollock – Fintan Magee (2016)
- Rosebery – Kaff-eine (2017)
- Rupanyup – Julia Volchkova (2017)
- Sea Lake – Drapl & the Zookeeper (2019)
- Sheep Hills – Adnate (2016)
Map of the Wimmera Mallee Silo Art Trail
Silo Art in Australia
In this part of Australia you’ve got to get used to travelling. The whole silo art trail is over 500km long. So far it extends to twelve silos from Kaniva in the west to Nullawil in the east. Many of the artists needed to live in the vicinity over the time spent creating the works. Their inspirations taken from the people and the land.
The Wimmera and the Mallee are areas worth exploring. The silo art gallery in this part of Australia gives the traveler a great opportunity to learn about these unique parts of the country. People have worked the land here for years. With this in mind, the silos are more than just art. They are an opportunity to learn about the people who have lived here and those who indeed still call it home.
Silo Art Trail Gallery
There are twelve silos to see across the Wimmera Mallee region. Painted between 2015 and 2022 they have been painted by a cross section of some of Australia’s best street artists. This post reveals them all in alphabetical order with some background on each.
Albacutya – Kitt Bennett (2021)
Close to the Mallee town of Rainbow near the shores of Lake Albacutya is this colourful mural from Kitt Bennett. It’s a piece that pays homage to growing up in the country just as the artist himself did. “I have fond memories of exploring the bush and looking for yabbies under rocks in creeks with my parents. Reflecting on this weird and wonderful time as an adult is something that brings me a lot of happiness” explained Kitt.
Featuring a vibrant bright colour palette it is also an acknowledgement of the nearby town of Rainbow. Though it also serves the purpose of fully separating the artwork from it’s environment. Really making it stand out against the Mallee plains. The main figure of the motorcyclist is a concept inspired by the silo owners son.
Arkona – SMUG (2022)
Seemingly placed in the middle of nowhere, the tiny township of Arkona sits on the road from Dimboola to Rainbow. The mural which looms as you approach on the side of the road shows an invisible man holds a tennis ball and a racket. Painted by SMUG it’s based on local man Roley Klinge who was a huge tennis fan and who promoted and supported community tennis. Passing away in 1991 the mural shows that although he is no longer with us, his legacy still remains.
Brim – Guido van Helten (2015)
The tiny hamlet in Brim was the first to get a mural as part of the Silo Art Gallery. Created by Melbourne’s Guido van Helten it showcases the resilience and strength of the local farming community. The mural explores the notions of community at a time when rural populations are in decline and facing pressure. The people shown, blend into the background of the silo as if one with it just as they are one with the land. Van Helten wanted the identities to remain unknown. “I don’t want this to be about individual people specifically”, he told ABC Rural. “It’s about this place, it’s about the community and, on a broader scale, the whole Wimmera region. If you leave the anonymity to these people and people see whoever they want to see, they can have their own connection to the work.”
Goroke – Geoffrey Carran (2020)
Featuring three native birds, Geoffrey Carran’s mural in the small township of Goroke features a Kookaburra, Galah and Magpie. The name Goroke actually taking it’s name from the aboriginal word for Magpie. “One of the things that public art can really bring to an area is placemaking and local tourism” says Carran. Himself living locally in the Western Wimmera, his choice of topic does both. Two of the birds, the Kookaburra and Magpie are also shown sitting on fence posts made out of Bull Oak. “They are so iconic to the Western Wimmera and over a hundred years they have weathered so beatifully. It’s a historic reference to the area”.
Horsham – SMUG (2022)
Smug’s Horsham silo remembers Yanggendyinanyuk an Aboriginal leader who lived in the Wimmera region. He lived at a time of great change. Bridging the period between the growing influence of European settlement and the traditional lifestyle of the indigenous people. Today he is possibly best remembered as being a part of the first ever Australian sporting team to tour England. Made up entirely of Aboriginal cricketers they toured England in 1868. He was known as ‘Dick a Dick’ on the tour in an attempt to make his name more pronounceable to English gentry. The mural is accompanied by another piece featuring a black cockatoo. The bird was Yanggendyinanyuk’s totem and a symbol of the Wergaia people.
Kaniva – David Lee Peirera (2020)
Melbourne based artist David Lee Peirera chose a giant Australian hobby bird to overlook the town of Kaniva. It is one of six birds of prey native to the area. It also pays tribute to the nearby Little Desert region and the flora and fauna that you might find there. In particular the mural shows the plains sun orchid (Thelymitra megacalyptra) on the left with the salmon/pink sun orchid (Thelymitra rubra) on the right.
Lascelles – Rone (2017)
Rone’s ghostly images overlook Lascelles. Choosing to recognise the long connection people have with the land his work features portraits of two local people. Both peering out from individual silos it shows Geoff and Merrilyn Horman. Part of a family which has lived and farmed the area for four generations. Each looking out from separate silos, they look over different aspects of the town. “I wanted to find people who had lived here all their lives and get a sense of what the town has been through over the years,” explained Rone to Juddy Roller. “With a population of just 48 people, I’ve been fortunate to have already met most of the town here in Lascelles”
Nullawil – Smug (2019)
Originally from a town south of Sydney but based in the UK, Smug has become known for his high quality portraits. The Nullawil silo art is also the first in the Buloke shire of Australia to be painted. It took 14 days in total to complete. It features a man with his Kelpie sheep dog. Very much the center of attention here is the dog and this mural is a homage to the companionship between the two. The Kelpie itself is a breed which has it’s origins in Victoria. It was bred when the area was settled by the Scottish in the mid to late 1800’s. There is a visitors center in the town of Casterton which has the full history of the breed.
Patchewollock – Fintan Magee (2016)
The northern most small town on the silo art trail is Patchewollock. There, it’s giant grain silo shows an image of a man looking out onto the plains. From Brisbane artist Fintan Magee he chose to depict local sheep and grain farmer, Nick Hulland. Standing tall overlooking the Mallee, holding a staff and staring into the distance. He exemplified the no-nonsense hardworking spirit of the region according to the artist. As an added extra in Patche, the area boasts a replica of it’s old train station and some giant Mallee Fowl made out of corrugated iron. For an extra art boost then you can visit the studios and gardens of the corrugated iron artist, Phil Rigg, in nearby Lascelles.
Rosebery – Kaff-eine (2017)
Melbourne’s Katt-eine created a work at the Rosebery silo which she says embodies the regions past, present and future. Showing a young female sheep farmer on the left with an older male horseman on the right, this is about different generations. At both times the work symbolises the future whilst gazing a emotive eye to the past. The woman stands confidently despite the hardships faced in the Mallee, sheep farming is still an important industry for the area. The man meanwhile nestles comfortably with his horse, their mutual trust and understanding of one another, the results of a lifelong connection. “I want to display the relationship between us and the land”, she told the Mail Times.
Rupanyup – Julia Volchkova (2017)
First on the Silo Art Trail at the southern end is Rupanyup. It is also the only mural to have been painted onto steel grain silos. As such it’s also the smallest silo on the trail, yet once you’re in front of it you wouldn’t know that. The artist is Julia Volchkova, a Russian painter from Siberia. Her mural shows two delicate portraits. Blending in against the metal exterior of the silo her work shows two local young people, Ebony Baker and Jordan Weidemann. Julia wanted to create a piece which captured the importance of sport and community in rural areas. Ebony is pictured wearing her netball outfit whilst Jordan is shown in his Aussie Rules kit.
Sea Lake – Drapl & the Zookeeper (2019)
The biggest town on the silo art trail in this part of Australia is Sea Lake. Boasting not only the newest mural from street art duo Drapl and the Zookeeper. The town is also the gateway to Lake Tyrell, a dramatic inland lake which is well worth a detour. ” This artwork is a celebration of this special space in rural Australia” says Zookeeper on his instagram.
It shows a young girl swinging from a Mallee Eucalyptus and gazing out over the lake. A Wedge Tail Eagle soars above and emus run into the distance. “For millennia this lake has existed, unchanged and untouched. It is a place of wonder and story. In this ever increasing busy day and age, people universally long for space and solitude.” The duo have also painted a couple of additional murals in the town to add to the silo art gallery.
Sheep Hills – Adnate (2016)
There’s not much at Sheep Hills other than the grain silos. What is there is covered by a giant colourful mural from Melbourne artist Adnate. Celebrating the indigenous culture of the area the piece is about the transferring of knowledge from old to young. It features local children Curtly McDonald,9 and Savannah Marks, 2. They are set against the backdrop of a balmy Wimmera evening with the vast landscape of the land and sky set behind. Looking inwards are elders from the indigenous Wergeia and Wotjobaluk groups, Ron Marks and Regina Hood.
The Silo Art Trail was visited during November 2019 and July 2022. For other posts about street art in Australia check out these on Brisbane, Port Adelaide, Adelaide , Melbourne and the North East Victoria Silo Art Trail.