The latest iteration of cultural not-for-profit FORM’s street art project PUBLIC has grown to even greater heights with the Public Silo Trail.
Currently comprising of murals on three major grain silos owned by grain exporter CBH Group, the trail links Northam with Ravensthorpe via the recently completed Merredin silos, with further silos to be confirmed in the coming months. Completed just over a week ago, the Merredin mural by Western Australian multidisciplinary artist Kyle Hughes-Odgers joins artworks by American artist HENSE and UK artist Phlegm in Northam and Western Australian artist Amok Island’s mural at Ravensthorpe in a large scale, open air gallery on iconic infrastructure that will ultimately span several of the State’s regional towns.
Initiated as a cultural tourism project, the Public Silo Trail aims to highlight the diversity of the State’s regional communities, encourage new visitors and instigate economic opportunity within these regions. Cultural tourism is increasingly becoming a focus for regional and remote communities in Australia looking to diversify and differentiate themselves. Projects such as Bruce Munro’s Field of Light at Uluru and Tasmania’s Museum of Old and New Art demonstrate that culture and the arts have the ability to revitalise local economies and attract international attention and visitation. With the Public Silo Trail, CBH Group and FORM are endeavouring to attract similar attention to Western Australia’s own unique assets.
Each work in the Public Silo Trail is responsive to the community in which it is located, with the works reflecting elements of its local industry and natural environment. Hughes-Odgers’ work at Merredin draws on the region’s strong agricultural history and its community, making reference to its seasons, harvests, and land formations in an attempt to capture Merredin’s unique identity and heritage. This artistic intervention is a reference to the importance of agriculture to our State’s economy, and of the communities which support this vital industry.
FORM’s Executive Director Lynda Dorrington said the trail aimed to build the reputation of participating regional towns state-wide, and encourage opportunities for economic growth. “This trail offers a new way of experiencing Western Australia’s agricultural heartland,” Lynda says. “We want to cast a light on these beautiful, distinctive regions, reveal what they have to offer to the rest of the state and help us connect with what makes us Western Australians.”
CBH Group General Manager of Grower and External Relations Brianna Peake said the co-operative was excited to reveal the third in the silo series. “These projects have received world-wide attention and have added another drawcard for tourists coming to regional Western Australia. We’re pleased to be supporting our grain growing regions through high-profile projects such as this, but also being able to do it by engaging a talented local artist,” Brianna says.
In the Western Australian context, it is anticipated that the Silo Art Trail will demonstrate the value of investment into culture and the arts at this scale, which may in turn create opportunities for future partnerships and projects for the benefit of the arts sector and wider community alike.
All images credit: PUBLIC Silo Trail, Merredin by Kyle Hughes-Odgers, August 2017. Photographs by Bewley Shaylor and JP Horre, courtesy of FORM.