About The PUBLIC Silo Trail
The PUBLIC Silo Trail is the evolution of FORM’s PUBLIC program of art and ideas. FORM has partnered with CBH Group, Western Power and Lotterywest, three organisations delivering fundamental services to Western Australians, to reveal through story gathering and art on an epic scale, the regional communities forming the backbone of our state. Why? Because we think Western Australia is a work of art and we want to offer you to a new way of experiencing it.
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 all 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. This cultural tourism trail will connect a series of regional towns by a common thread of art on an epic scale, while a social documentary project will catalogue the lives of regional Australians in film and story. We intend for this project to help build the reputation of participating towns statewide, encourage opportunities for economic growth and highlight the contribution CBH Group and Western Power make to the lives of Western Australians.
PUBLIC Art in the Wheatbelt : In March 2015 as part of FORM’s PUBLIC festival of art and ideas, internationally renowned artists HENSE (USA) and Phlegm (UK) transformed eight CBH Group grain silos into iconic works of art dramatically responding to the unique landscape of the Wheatbelt town of Northam. The silos were painted each at a height of 35 metres (an area of roughly 5500 square feet) over 16 days and using around 740 litres of paint, creating Australia’s first silo mural.
PUBLIC Art In Ravensthorpe : In August 2016 acclaimed Fremantle-based artist Amok Island created PUBLIC Art in Ravensthorpe’s Six Stages of Banksia baxteri, a 25 metre high wildflower inspired mural painted across three CBH Group silos in Ravensthorpe, Western Australia. The project, which entailed 31 days, 338 litres of paint and countless trips up and down the silos in a knuckle boom, is the second in a series of monumental mural artworks on grain silos delivered by FORM in partnership with CBH Group over the past three years.
PUBLIC Art In Merredin In August 2017 Western Australian street artist Kyle Hughes-Odgers created PUBLIC Art in Merredin’s 35-metre high grain silo mural at Merredin in Western Australia’s Wheatbelt. Entailing 200 litres of paint, 14 days, 168 hours, two lifts, 80 rollers and 10 brushes, the artwork is the third installment in the PUBLIC Silo Trail. 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.”
PUBLIC Art in Albany: In March 2018 acclaimed Brooklyn-based street art duo Yok & Sheryo created the fourth mural in FORM’s PUBLIC Silo Trail over 17 days of painting and after 180 litres of paint. Taking inspiration from two species of seahorse found in the coastal waters of South-Western Australia, the Ruby Seadragon and its leafy cousin, the 35 metre high and 50 metre wide mural now sits proudly across the giant silos at CBH group’s Albany Grain Terminal.
PUBLIC Art in Newdegate: Native Western Australian wildlife has taken centre stage in sky-high silo art for the latest PUBLIC Silo Trail mural at Newdegate in the Wheatbelt. Perth muralist Brenton See translated the region’s western bearded lizard, mallee fowl, thigh spotted tree frog and red-tailed phascogale to canvas in four towering murals on the Newdegate CBH Group silos over 13 days this month. The final mural in the series is an emblematic depiction of the region. It features a droplet shaped form, half-white, half-teal. The white and teal droplet represents both the rain; essential to growth: and the surrounding lake systems which support many insects and animals at different times of the year. In the background are coloured squares illustrating the land, and how it appears from above: green for the green bushland areas and brown, orange and red for the red dirt and rocky areas.
PUBLIC Art in Pingrup: Miami artist Evoca1’s 25 metre high artwork, painted on giant grain storage silos in the Great Southern farming town of Pingrup over the last fortnight, is a tip of the hat to Western Australia’s tenacious, resourceful farming communities. A scene drawing threads from the fabric of everyday life in Pingrup, Evoca1’s figurative depictions of the town’s iconic Pingrup races, its Merino sheep, its people, cattle dogs and even a tractor based precisely on one found on the main street of town, all tell a story about the character of the community. The artist took 15 days and 230 litres of paint to create the mural, which entailed a series of artworks on three individual silos, each 25 metres high and 15 metres wide. Working with rollers and brushes atop a boom lift from dawn to dusk, Evoca1 battled high winds and several days of rain.
Curious about what PUBLIC has been up to in the past? Check out FORM’s previous work:
The PUBLIC Silo Trail is a partnership between FORM and CBH Group and is jointly funded by the Australian Government through the Building Better Regions Fund, Lotterywest and Western Power, and a range of other generous community stakeholders including: Taubmans Australia, City of Albany, Shire of Ravensthorpe, Shire of Katanning, Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal, Newdegate CRC and the Pingrup CRC.
FORM is also grateful for the assistance of key local government areas including: Shire of Northam, Shire of Merredin, Shire of Katanning, Shire of Kent, Shire of Lake Grace, Shire of Ravensthorpe and City of Albany.