Silo art has not only seen the expansion of rural artistic communities but has rejuvenated tourism to regional communities that would otherwise have fallen off the map. None more so than the famous Benalla Art Trail in North East Victoria.
We had camped at Yarrawonga, one of our favourite spots to spend a few days on the Mighty Murray River. Deciding we needed a day out exploring, rather then relaxing on he banks of the river, we headed to the town of Glenrowan. A town made famous for being the location of Ned Kelly's last stand. After a counter meal at the Glenrowan Hotel (not bad, not brilliant) we decided to take the scenic route back north, via the Silo Art Trail.
We made our way to the small town of Goorambat to see their beautiful silo, adorned with clydesdale horses, a striking image of the industrious region. On the opposite silo is another work by the artist Jimmy Dvate of a Barking Owl, a bold reminder of our endangered native species not just in Victoria but all around Australia.
Also in Goorambat is a piece called "Sophia" a mural of the holy spirit in the local church, however we chose not to stop and see this site. A few hundred metres down the road from the silos, its was quote busy and we chose to stay away from the crowds. (And by crowds I mean maybe half a dozen people.)
From Goorambat we continued on the Benalla-Tocumwal Rd before turning off towards Devenish, the third stop on the trail. Devenish is a tiny spec of a town, the long since closed petrol station a reminder that times are tough for rural communities in this modern society. Arriving in the main street of Devenish you can't miss the main attraction.
Their silo, adorned with a mural from artist Cam Scale is a tribute to the men and women who have served this country in varying military enlistments.
This mural I found so moving, accompanied by the memorial in front
of the GrainCorp silo and recently decorated for the not long past ANZAC Day service. It struck a chord of deep patriotism and pride in me that I think we don't often properly recognise in this country. Standing in the street taking it all in is definitely an experience I will never forget and everyone should experience.
We then continued north from Devenish along the Devenish Rd to the town of Tungamah, where the first silos in this region were decorated by Western Australian artist Sobrane Simcock. The silos are a flourish of native bird life, wild and lively with all manner of native birds.
From here we continued north making our way back to camp, skipping the final stop on the official trail which loops back south towards Benalla.
The trail then stops at Winton Wetlands where a beautiful water tank has been painted by artist Guide Van Helten. Portraits of three local volunteers from the local fire brigades are a lovely tribute to the hard working volunteers that help service and protect their communities.
The Benalla Silo Art Trail is a great reminder that when you're out exploring regional Australia, stop into the small towns. Buy products from the local markets, grab a coffee from a local cafe and take the time to see what these regional communities have to offer.