About PUBLIC In Merredin | Part of the PUBLIC Silo Trail
Entailing 200 litres of paint, 14 days, 168 hours, two lifts, 80 rollers and 10 brushes, PUBLIC in Merredin’s 35-metre high grain silo mural was created by Western Australian street artist Kyle Hughes-Odgers at Merredin in Western Australia’s Wheatbelt in August 2017. PUBLIC In Merrredin is part of the PUBLIC Silo Trail, a large scale art trail throughout Western Australia. Creating the artwork was a labor of love, requiring the artist to work around the clock atop boom lifts across the facade of four individual silos at Merredin wheat storage and transfer depot. “I took on the Merredin silos to contribute something to the Western Australian landscape and the State I grew up in,” Hughes-Odgers said. “This was an amazing opportunity to work at a gigantic scale.”
Through his geometric yet playful paintings on the Merredin silos, Hughes-Odgers depicts two large pot plants with sprouting seedlings, which represent new growth, seasons and the importance of the agricultural industry to Merredin and the Wheatbelt region. A man and a woman are standing tall on the silos. The patterns on the woman’s body reference to local buildings, structures and local icons in Merredin. The designs on the man’s body are inspired by local salt lakes, dams, and granite outcrops. The colours are recognisable, as they are taken directly from the Wheatbelt’s natural environment. The burnt oranges, yellows, and blues are from the landscape and sky. Together each of these painted silos tell a story about the changes in seasons and the effect this has on the harvesting of grain, and the social and historical significance of this industry to the Merredin community.
The PUBLIC Silo Trail is the evolution of FORM’s PUBLIC program of art and ideas and connects a series of regional towns by a common thread of art on an epic scale, while social documentary project Homegrown stories catalogues the lives of regional Australians in film and story. FORM has partnered with CBH Group, Western Power and Lotterywest, three organisations delivering fundamental services to Western Australians, on the project to reveal through story gathering and art on an epic scale, the regional communities forming the backbone of our state. Over the next year, the project will create a trail of national and international artworks on iconic infrastructure throughout Western Australia’s regional heartland. Artworks on grain silos, transformer boxes and sorts of unexpected infrastructure will begin joining the dots on an unfolding regional art network which so far includes Northam’s landmark murals by international artists HENSE and Phlegm, Perth-based Amok Island’s Six Stages of Banksia baxteri in Ravensthorpe and Kyle Hughes-Odgers’ 35-mtre high mural in Merredin. We intend for this year-long project to help build the reputation of participating towns statewide, encourage opportunities for economic growth and highlight the contribution CBH Group, Western Power and Lotterywest make to the lives of Western Australians. Using visual storytelling to ignite pride within locals, draw visitors to the regions and connect the wider state with its rural foundations, the trail offers a new way of experiencing Western Australia’s agricultural heartland.