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Silo art boosts rural communities

22 March 2018


Street art is heading skywards as grain silos across the country are turning into canvases for giant community murals.

One of the first of these silo art projects was completed in early 2017 at Coonalpyn in South Australia’s South East, where Australian artist Guido van Helten painted a 30 metre high portrait of five local children on the local Viterra receival centre.

“The mural captured national media attention and became a real tourist attraction for the town,” Jane McBride, Viterra Communications Manager said.

“This mural was unique in that it was one of the first to be painted on fully operational silos, which play an important part in receiving and storing grain through the harvest period.

“The success of this project for the small community meant that the idea has really taken off.

“As a major employer in regional South Australia and with thousands of grower customers, we are actively involved in the communities where we operate.”

Jane said the Coonalpyn project was followed by another mural at Kimba on South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula, a full colour 25 metre x 60 metre portrait of a young child in a grain crop by Melbourne artist Cam Scale. Sue Woolford, Igniting Kimba committee member, said Viterra’s encouragement had been instrumental.

“All of this would not have been possible without Viterra’s support from the beginning when we approached them with the idea,” Sue said.

“Viterra’s foresight in agreeing to the project and seeing the benefit it would bring to our small community was really appreciated – their ongoing assistance in bringing it to fruition was integral to its success.”

Jane said the artworks have proved to be very popular with tourists, visitors and locals alike.

“They have injected a morale boost to the towns as well as some additional tourism income.

“Each project is spectacular. The photos are amazing, but nothing compares to seeing them in person.

“We are very pleased with the interest the artworks have already received and look forward to them being a drawcard for years to come.”

There are now more than 15 silo art projects around Australia including GrainCorp’s Brim silos that were painted in 2015 by Guido van Helten and became a backdrop for MasterChef Australia; and CBH’s Northam silos, with its two large murals painted by international artists Phlegm and Hense.