Monday, April 23, 2018

Silo Art Trail BRIM

Brim was the start of it all.
‘Farmer Quartet’ is located on roadside on the Henty Highway and stretching out across all four of the Brim silos, this massive mural was painted in 2015 as a tribute to the drought-stricken farming community. 
Created in van Helten’s famous monochromatic photo-realistic style, the mural instantly became a regional landmark and provided the inspiration for The Silo Art Trail project.
The project came to Brim out of the blue.
Van Helten (L) with Brim Community Active Group Shane Wardle 
Van Helten has done similar giant portraits in Ukraine, Norway, Italy, Denmark and Iceland, and he asked street artist management company Juddy​ Roller to find him silos in Victoria.
Brim Active Community Group put money towards the $10,000 project, along with Yarriambiack Shire and Regional Arts Victoria.Taubmans​ and Loop Paints donated
And has that paid off!!  van Helten has turned the tiny town of Brim, with a population of about 100, into a tourist destination overnight, and social media is cluttered with photos of his work.
The paint was donated from local company and the Brim caravan park and pub provided free accommodation and meals for van Helten.
The silos in the sunlight

The track behind
The fine detail is amazing 

There are three men and one woman here

There is no information re their identity (deliberate) but a lot of speculation about the mood or character of each figure.
When it was finished the publican Mr Holland and the locals thought it best the artist experience a "cut out" — a drinking session usually held in the shearing shed when shearers finish their last run. Van Helten's unwashed orange work shirt that he wore every day is now hanging proudly in the Brim Hotel.
Juddy Roller's magnificent photo!!
Juddy Roller  says
"the work captures the generational differences of those resilient enough to continue working the land, by representing a broad spectrum of the Brim Community portrayed in the archetypal form of different generations of the community, including an acknowledgement of the importance of female contribution to farming the land" 


Our next stop for the night was Warracknabeal on the Henty Highway. 
Warracknabeal is a wheatbelt town situated on the banks of the Yarriambiack Creek,and features a number of historic buildings including the Tudor-style post office (built in 1907) and the old State Savings Bank building (1909) which now houses the Warracknabeal Historical Centre which has displays open to the public. 
There were other old closed banks as well. The junction of Scott Street and Woolcock Street is known as Federation Place and full-size sculptures of sheep and a kelpie dog are located within the roundabout as a tribute to the town's early settlement days. 

A fascinating old building still operating was the Ladies' Rest Rooms that celebrated their 90th birthday in 2018,
The idea for the restrooms came about when farming women would accompany their husbands into Warracknabeal on a Friday to shop.The men would go and drink at the hotels and women couldn’t go in them in those days, So they all got together to see whether they could have their own dedicated rooms.  the rooms

The inside is decorated as it may have been back then including and tea and coffee service
It has a strict no men policy Boys up to 6 yrs permitted and No Smoking
The toilets were out back in a garden courtyard

One of the closed Pubs
Another told bank building 
The lovely creek beside the one pub open 
beside the creek is a park with an Animal Reserve Wallaby, emu birds etc 
I had booked a motel, but as we were driving up the main street I couldn't remember where it was
I looked it up and posted the address 197 Henty Hwy into the map.
Well that took us to the Huge Service Station and as we pulled up we stopped in front of some very basic rooms along the wall
the photo is taken from the petrol bowser!! 
Shades of our experience in Birmingham Alabama and the De Soto Rooms.I assured Jo I wouldn't have booked this!! but did have a moment of panic,
So I looked it up again and the address is obviously a general indication, but the name showed up on other side of road and around the corner  Whew!!
Our final destination!!
 The very helpful woman in the Rupanyup General store had told us that the Brim Silos were lit at night so we decided to go out and see them,
 A 15 minute drive out of town after a delicious meal at the Pub that was open !

Guido Van Helton's Brim Silos 
In the morning we had breakfast at a local cafe then spent a while wandering around the biggest  2nd hand collectibles shop I had seen in a while Wheatlands' Warehouse.
You name it they had it in spades!!

We then headed off to the  Brim Silo in the daytime

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Silo Art Trail SHEEP HILLS

Our next stop was Sheep Hills.
All is well sign posted and as most of them just at the side of the road a bit hard to get lost!

A dot on the map Sheep Hills was the name of a pastoral run taken up in 1847 by Archibald McMillan. Farm allotments were taken up in the mid-1870s, several of the settlers being of a German-Lutheran tradition. The Sheep Hills district was known as Bangerang (the name of a Lutheran school) and Tarkedia (the name of a State school opened in 1877). In 1886 the railway was extended from Minyip to Warracknabeal and the settlement which grew at the railway siding was named Sheep Hills. 

The Sheep Hills Suilo is the most colourful of them all and depicts members of the Barengi Gadjin community, including local Elders Uncle Ron Marks, Aunty Regina Hood and two younger members of the community.

The mural represents the passing on of knowledge and local indigenous history from Elders to the next generation within the community; as well as depicting elements of the local dreaming and the passing of time. 
Adnate,  an internationally renowned artist, completed this in  December 2016 and spread across all six silos,  with a starry background that has a symbolic significance to the local people. 

The rail tracks behind the silo 
 Adnate who is widely celebrated for his work with Indigenous communities, spent three weeks with the Barengi Gadjin community to conceive and complete of the Sheep Hills silo mural in his hopes of creating more than just art- “I want to create a conversation among local people and visitors to engage in the history of the people and the area”.

Trees opposite the old Pub
The old Cain's Commercial Hotel 

A census in 2006 shows 189 people but nothing recorded since so it was every small! The lovely old pub now c;used as many are in the area 

Silo Art Trail RAPANYUP

A road trip with Jo after 40+ years. Jo was often in Melbourne visiting her grandchildren but the most we got together was a meal, so when I decided to do the Silo Art trail in the Wimmera I gave her a call and it fitted in with Natal's 8th birthday.
The Silo Art  Trail started after the interest shown in the Silo painted in BRIM in Victoria Wimmera Mallee region.
So we headed off on Thursday to Rapanyup about 3 hours away. Had a little diversion avoiding Ballarat but were back on track again.
Rapanyup has a population of only 550 people so will take a while to cope with the influx of tourists 
Cafes and shops are often closed in these now quiet towns
This was a very basic store!
This General store had a HUGE collection of teapots!
The china teapot collection.
Rupanyup’s silo is the work of Russian mural artist, Julia Volchkova, who turned her attention to the town’s youth and their great love of team sport. The work vividly captures the spirit of community and provides an accurate insight into rural youth culture. 

The featured faces are those of Rupanyup residents and local sporting team members, Ebony Baker and Jordan Weidemann. Fresh-faced and dressed in their sports attire (netball and Australian Rules football,  Baker and Weidemann embody a youthful spirit of strength, hope and camaraderie.                                                                                                                                     Rendered onto a pair of squat conjoined Australian Grain Export steel grain silos, the delicately nuanced monochromatic work is typical of Volchkova’s realist portraiture style.                       
Accomplished over several weeks and unveiled in early 2017, the mural quietly honours the integral role that sport and community play in rural Australian populations.        

All of the Silos are just at the side of the highway (Henty or Sunraysia) as the roads were usually beside the rail line that used to carry the grain.
These were steel ones (the only steel ones on the trail ) and behind the silos was the old railway station building now deserted.

Julia Volchkova was born in Nizhnevartovsk, Siberia (Russia) and studied classical painting there before moving to Saint Petersburg in 2010. Heavily influenced by Russian realist painter Ilya Repin, Volchkova’s delicate portraiture seeks to explore the rich diversity present in the places that she visits. 
She describes being honoured dot be the fist woman to be asked to do the silos 
"All my equipment weighs a lot. The safety protection weighs several kilograms, the spray gun is a few pounds, the paint itself, rollers, sprays, brushes — all of this is very heavy."Then there were the challenges of painting outdoors for two weeks with the changing weather and in particular, the wind."The paint flies in the wrong direction and lands on your face," Ms Volchkova said.

The scale of the project was obvious at each place we visited 

Silo Art Trail BRIM

Brim was the start of it all. ‘Farmer Quartet’ is located on roadside on the Henty Highway and stretching out across all four of the Brim s...