The Silo Art Trail, Victoria

The first Silo Art we came across on the trip was the silos at the tiny community of Goroke on our way to Horsham. The artwork was painted by artist Geoffrey Carran and features a Kookaburra, a flying Galah and a Magpie sitting on a barbed wire fence. I particularly liked the barbed wire. It looked so real.

In Horsham we stayed at the Riverside Caravan Park right in town alongside the Wimmera River. It was $38 per night for a large flat patch of blue gravel with power, water and sullage point. Not sure what the amenities are like as we didn’t use them.

We set off the next morning following the Silo Art Trail. Our first stop on the Trail was the town of Murtoa where we called in to visit the Stick Shed. The Murtoa Stick Shed was built during World War II in 1941 when Australia couldn’t export the wheat we’d produced and needed somewhere to store it. It was built as emergency grain storage and was built in just 4 months. It is constructed from 560 unmilled poles (sticks) that support a corrugated iron roof. The shed spans the length of five Olympic swimming pools.

The shed is listed on the Victorian Heritage Register and is 270 metres long, 60 metres wide and 19 metres high at the ridge.

The shed continued to be used for grain storage until 1989 however the heritage significance of the structure was recognised and it was listed on the Victorian Heritage Register in 1990.

Walking into the Stick Shed feels a bit like walking into a huge cathedral. It was quiet in there and the soaring poles lead your eye upward like the columns in a large cathedral. It was amazing. An amazing piece of practical architecture that should be preserved and I’m glad it is being looked after.

After visiting the Stick Shed we visited the Water Tower Museum and Historic Railway Station and the Historical Concordia Lutheran College. The Water Tower Museum is housed in the historic water tower and has four floors of displays. The ground floor houses an incredible display of James Hill’s Taxidermy Bird Collection. It is said to be one of the best collections in Australia. It really is incredible. Hundreds of birds are in display cabinets that James Hill collected and applied his taxidermy skills to. Unfortunately the glass cabinets make it difficult to take good photos of the collection.

The upper three floors house a collection of historical Murtoa memorabilia.

The Railway Station across the road houses a good display of the history of the railway in Murtoa and also has a lot of memorabilia.

The Concordia College building next door to the water tower houses displays of the German and Lutheran heritage of the area. It is also home to the longest ongoing brass band in Australia, the Coromby Brass Band. There is so much memorabilia in the college you could be here for days however my favourite display was a gorgeous rabbit skin fur coat that a local farmer had made for his bride. It was beautiful.

Next it was on to the next town on the Silo Art Trail, Rupanyup. Rupanyup’s silo art work was painted by Russian mural artist, Julia Vochkova. Her work features two local residents, Ebony Baker in her netball uniform and Jordan Weidermann wearing his Aussie Rules uniform. The artist wanted to show the youthful spirit of strength, hope and camaraderie by honouring the role that sport plays in rural communities. This pair of conjoined silos was painted in 2017.

The town also has a mural of a firefighter on the old shire office building. This work was painted by Melbourne street artist Goodie.

The Main Street of Rupanyup is a divided street with a park running down the middle. At various points in the park are six wooden sculptures by Gippsland chainsaw artist John Brady.

Our next stop was Minyip where we found a street sculpture in their Main Street roundabout called The Farmer.

Artist Grant Finke from Geelong created the sculpture for the roundabout after the roundabout had received an upgrade. Minyip is famous for being the town where the very popular TV series The Flying Doctors was made.

The Farmer, Minyip

Next stop along the Silo Art Trail was the silos at Sheep Hills. This artwork is by Melbourne artist Adnate and he has used his work to tell the stories of indigenous people and their native lands. Adnate spent time in the community in 2016 and chose local Wergaia Elder, Uncle Ron Marks, and Wotjobaluk Elder, Aunty Regina Hood along with two children Savannah Marks and Curtly McDonald as the faces for this work. It is an amazing work.

We arrived in Warrancknabeal at lunchtime. There are three street sculptures on the roundabouts in the Main Street. The first one you come across is a sheep dog, the second on the Federation Place Roundabout has a sheepdog and a group of sheep. On one corner of this roundabout is the incredible Tudor style Post Office built in 1861 and on the opposite is the historic Palace Hotel. On the footpath around theses buildings is an amazing mosaic set in brick paving stamped with local names and businesses that supported this redevelopment of the footpaths and roundabout. The third roundabout has a sculpture of a sheep dog sitting on some bags.

As it was lunch time we found a great spot to pull up at the Lions Flora & Fauna Park next to Yarriambiack Creek. This lovely park has a playground, free BBQ’s and picnic tables. The animal enclosures and bird aviaries house a collection of native birds and animals and there’s also a Guinea Pig enclosure.

On a walk around the park I found a Street Library. This is a a little box on a pole with a glass door. Inside you can leave a book for someone else or take a book to read. What a great idea!

There is plenty of parking and lots of room for our motorhome and we enjoyed having our lunch at this lovely park.

After lunch we continued on the Silo Art Trail and next stop was Brim. Brim takes its name from an Aboriginal word for ‘Spring’ or ‘Well of Water’. Brim’s silo art work was painted by street artist Guido van Helton. The work depicts generations of the local community.

Brim’s silo is illuminated at night by solar lighting. That would be something to see!

Brim’s silo art was the first in Victoria and was completed in 2016. The success of this work shone a spotlight on the Wimmera and inspired the establishment of the Silo Art Trail.

Next stop was at the 36 parallel where we found the remains of the Netting Fence which was built in 1885 from Tyntynder to the SA border to prevent Dingoes and Rabbits overrunning and devastating the pastoral and agricultural land to the south.

Further on in Beulah we found a street mural by artist Kaff-eine of two Arabian horses taking flight. Kaff-eine also painted the Silo Art at our next stop in Rosebery. This work was completed in 2017 and depicts a female farmer on the left and a horseman in his Akubra hat with his trusty horse on the right

By the time we arrive in Hopetoun it was time to find a camp for the night and we found a fabulous spot at Lake Lascelles. This is a small circular lake and the town provides a few powered sites as well as free camping all the way around the lovely lake. We drove around until we found a good flat spot and pulled up for the night. We had a campfire and enjoyed sitting outside watching the sunset across the lake.

Our second day on the Silo Art Trail was an overcast and very windy day. It was 15 degrees outside but the wind made it feel much colder.

Our first stop after leaving Lake Lascelles was the tiny township of Woomelang where we found artwork on movable silos at various locations around the town. We also found a fabulous corrugated iron artwork on a wall and a scary snake mural.

Next stop was the tiny community of Lascelles. Their Silo Art, painted in 2017, depicts a local couple whose families have been farming in the area for four generations. This work is by Melbourne artist Rone and he used local farming couple Geoff and Merrilyn Herman as the subjects of this work.

Patchewollock was our next stop. Artist Fintan Magee painted this work and he used local farmer Nick ‘Noodle’ Hulland as the subject. According to Magee, the lanky Hulland was just the right height and leanness to fit on the narrow 35 metre silo. This work was completed in 2016 and depicts the reserved Hulland as the typical Aussie farmer wearing a ‘flanny’, with a solemn expression, sun-bleached hair and squinting into the distance.

Silo Art, Patchewollock

The roads out here in the Wimmera are dreadful. The motorhome bounces up and down like we are on a rollercoaster. The main highways are not too bad but once you get on the back roads we bounced up and down a lot. Some of the roads on this day were just single lane tar roads and when we approached an oncoming vehicle we had to get right off the road while they went past.

Next stop was at Lake Tyrrell near Sea Lake where we pulled in to have a quick look from the lookout. It had started to rain and was very cold so we didn’t stay long. Lake Tyrrell is a huge salt lake, the largest in Victoria at 20,860 acres. It is the terminal lake of the Avoca River/Tyrrell Creek system. Tyrrell Creek flows every 3-5 years but the water does not always reach the lake. There are signs of Aborignal occupation in this area and over 137 cultural sites have been identified. 100,000 tonnes of salt is harvested from Lake Tyrrell and you can see stacks of salt in the distance from the Lookout.

A new boardwalk and Sky Lounge, where you can lie back and view the night sky, has been constructed but it was too miserable outside to visit those. Maybe next time!

Our last silo art for the day was at Sea Lake where they have an amazing artwork by Drapl and The Zookeeper. This work depicts a young girl swinging from a Mallee Eucalyptus looking over Lake Tryell and reflects her indigenous heritage. It also depicts local flora and fauna around the lake.

Day two of following the Silo Art Trail ended at Green Lake Reserve just south of Sea Lake where we found a lovely spot in the campground and pulled up for the night.


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