In recent years, we have seen giant works of art being painted on silos and water towers all over the country. And it’s not just limited to silos either. Incredible pieces of artwork are popping up on walls in public spaces and huge sculptures adorn roadside stops. We have been lucky enough to see a lot of these amazing works of art over the last couple of years. So check out our list of where to find silo art in Australia and start exploring it for yourself.
WHERE IT ALL BEGAN
The first piece of Silo Art was a Community Project in the small town of Brim, Victoria. The four murals were painted by artist Guido van Helten and were completed in 2016. From there the idea of the Silo Art Trail was formed and now it seems that Silo Art is more popular than ever.
Many of the locations where you can find silo art, are just tiny towns often in rural areas. They would previously never have attracted visitors, but now hundreds of people come to their towns just to see these impressive artworks.
The Yelarbon silos are a most impressive site as you enter this tiny Queensland town. The artwork, called ‘When the Rain Comes’ was completed by members of the art group, The Brightsiders.
The Yelarbon Lagoon was used as inspiration for the project. Artists Jordache Castillejos, Jordan Bruce and Steven Falco used 800 litres of paint and 400 spray cans to create the work.
Initially, only four of the eight silos were painted but Goondiwindi Regional Council secured funds to complete the project and it was finished in April, 2020.
NEW SOUTH WALES
Barraba is a small rural town in northern NSW. The silos here were painted by artist Fintan Magee and completed in 2019. The mural depicts a water-diviner searching for ground water. It represents the critical importance of water in our farming regions.
Fintan Magee was born in Lismore in NSW and is a prolific artist having painted numerous murals and also completing the silo art at Patchewollock in Victoria.
I don’t think there are to many people in Australia who have not heard that famous line of Dorothea Mackellar’s poem….’I love a Sunburnt country’ and now it has been immortalised on a silo. Located in the northern NSW town of Gunnedah and painted by artist Heesco Khosnaran it is a stunning tribute to the poet who spent time on her family property near Gunnedah.
The poem, titled My Country was written in 1908 and originally called ‘Core of My Heart’. It was written by Mackellar when she 22 years old. The verse depicted on the silos is actually the second voice and has always been more well known than the rest of the poem. You can read the full version of My Country HERE.
Merriwa is a wonderful small town located in the Upper Hunter region of NSW. It is surrounded by prime grazing country and known everywhere for the fine wool produced there. Each year The Festival of the Fleeces is held in the town. The painted silos at Merriwa are a nod to that festival and also the agricultural activities of the area.
Completed by artist David Lee Pereira in April, 2019 they are a colourful addition to the town. If you are travelling that way, make sure you stay a night or two and enjoy the country hospitality on offer.
This spectacular piece can be found in Grenfell in Central West NSW. Local grain trading business Grenfell Commodities commissioned Melbourne artist Heesco Khosnaran to complete the work in 2018.
The artwork is based on photographs taken by local photographers Denise Yates and Jenn Graham. They also feature the local Weddin Mountains and the rural landscape of the area. They truly are a stunning addition to this lovely small town. And yes the sheep are looking at you!
Narrandera, a small town on the edge of the Riverina region of NSW has some recent additions to it’s water towers. High on the hill overlooking the town, the local water reservoir is now adorned with a mural. The most prominent being a koala and a bearded dragon, with the rest of the artwork depicting the history of the area.
The Rosebery Silos were completed in late 2017 by Melbourne artist Kaff-eine. After spending time in the Mallee region, Kaff-eine used what she saw in the local area as her inspiration. Her artwork depicts a young woman farmer who she sees as the future of farming. Alongside her is an older man and his horse and the bond between the two is un-mistakeable.
Just a few kilometres down the road is the small village of Beulah and here you will find another of Kaff-eine’s artworks. This time it is a mural, again depicting horses, which are frequently depicted in her work.
The silos at Brim are another stunning piece from Guido van Helten. Brim was the first piece of silo art to appear in Victoria. The detail in this artwork is just incredible and no photo can really do them justice. The artwork depicts three males and one female of different ages and reflect the strength and resilience of the local farming community.
This spectacular artwork by Melbourne artist Adnate is one that absolutely has to be seen in person. No photos I had seen prepared me for the depth of expression and colour in this huge piece of art.
Featuring two local Indigenous elders and two young children, the work celebrates the richness of the area’s Indigenous culture. The mural was completed in December, 2016.
Rupanyup is our final piece of silo art for now. Unlike many of the other silos, these are located right in town and are much smaller in size. They are also painted in black and white. Completed by Russian street artist Julia Volchkova, they depict two local youths both playing sport. Both pieces capture the strength and determination of these young sports stars.
Whilst in Rupanyup I recommend you also check out the carved wooden sculptures located in the nature strip area that runs through the centre of town.
Patchewollock is just a tiny speck on the map, but it is now known to thousands of people who visit just to see it’s impressive silo art. The Patche mural is by artist Fintan Magee. The mural is of local sheep and grain farmer Nick “Noodle” Hulland. The artist met him whilst staying at the local pub before he started work on the mural and knew straight away that he wanted to paint him. The mural depicts Nick standing with a branch out of a gumtree and staring off into the distance. Dressed in a blue flanno shirt, he epitomises the Aussie farmer.
Just 50 kilometres south east of Patchewollock is the equally tiny village of Lascelles. The silo art here was completely different to what we had seen before. The artist, Rone, used the silo’s raw concrete colouring to create his artwork of local farmers, Geoff and Merrilyn Horman. The effect is stunning and they are truly unique pieces of artwork.Lascelles it self is a great little village. It has a small caravan park, with toilets, a shower and a small laundry. At the front of the park is a great BBQ area and a kids playground. Across the road is the local pub which is also a cafe and a shop. It’s the perfect spot to stay after visiting the silos.
Our final piece of silo art for this trip arrived as unexpectedly as our discovery in Waikerie. As we were driving into the small town of Rochester I said to Brenden, ‘I think there is Silo Art here’ at the exact same time that he spotted it. There are two art works here and again they are by Jimmy Dvate. This guy is just so incredibly talented. The detail in the Glider and the vivid colours in the Kingfisher are just breathtaking.
Rochester is a great little town to visit. There is plenty of parking in front of the murals and from there it is a very short stroll to the main street where you will find a couple of pubs, a cafe and a supermarket. Rochester also holds an annual Mural Contest. The entries from the current year and some from the previous years are on display in the local park and are well worth checking out. I liked the winning entry from 2018.
This was the first piece of Silo Art we came across and it was quite by accident. We didn’t know it was there! We had stopped in the small town of Waikerie, South Australia, on the banks of the Murray River to have some lunch. Waikerie is located about 80 kilometres west of Renmark. As we started to head out of town we spotted a huge yabby painted on the side of a large white silo. We pulled over straight away so as we could admire it further. On the silo next to it there is an abstract mural as well.
We are looking forward to finding more silo art and murals as we continue our travels. There is so many more sites that we haven’t seen yet. We love exploring all the little towns and villages that most of these silos are located in. Many of these small towns need our support now more than ever. So, as you pass through these little towns, stop and spend a few dollars whenever you can.