Day Trip to Silo Arts

A visit from youngest son, Hugh, prompted this day trip – albeit a long one to make a day trip through the Wimmera Mallee area.

I had been reading and hearing about the silos art trail for some time. It was a simple idea to paint local people and history on some of the silos no longer used in grain growing areas.

The first one was at BRIM a small town which had almost died. Shops and businesses closed.

Painted by Guido Van Helton in late 2015 it would life back to this little town!

Others followed…. However the first we came across was by Russian artist Julia Volcano a at Rupanyup which is an aboriginal word meaning “branch hanging over water”.  This was completed in 2017 of two young athletics from the local football and netball clubs.

We had been on a road for a few hours by this time so we carried our picnic basket to a table directly opposite the silos and munched on some mini feta and pea quiches, home grown tomatoes, cheese, crackers, prosciutto and pickles.  To finish we devoured the currant slice and yoyos.  SusieQ  the retired rescue greyhound was happy for some fresh water and some sniffing new territory.

It was 30 minutes to the next stop at the delightfully called SHEEP HILLS.  Adnate is famous for his street art with Aboriginal communities and it was completed in late 2016.  It depicts four indigenous faces with a starry background.  I found it totally mesmerizing.

Brim has a population of 200 and as mentioned earlier was the first one in the area to have silo art.  This silo reminded of my childhood from the western Darling Downs in Queensland.  I grew up on a sheep and wheat property and was one of five children.   Our nearest town was Brigaĺow which at that time had a general store, bakery, butcher, post office, green grocer, garage, railway station, public hall, school, a sawmill, haberdashery store even and the silos of course.  Come harvest time trucks would line up to empty their grain in the silos before it was sent by rail to flour mills.  Nowdays there is a ‘general store’  which serves has magazines, milk, bread and maybe a roasted chook or burger.  One wonders  if Brigaĺow could ever become a Brim.

We travelled onto Rosebery and finally made a lunch stop at Lascelles after not being able to find a pub at Hopetoun.  A steak sandwich with chips and tomato sauce refuelled us while we chatted to the staff at the hotel/post office/general store about the future plans for the area.  It was reassuring to see the hope and faith in the future of these small country towns.

Patchewollock will have to wait till my next visit to the Silo Arts Trail when hopefully some friends and I can make it a weekend visit.  In the time Hugh and I had a memorable day before he returned to his other life of catching patagonian tooth fish in the Southern Ocean…a far cry from the plains of the Wimmera /Mallee.

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