Larger Than Life

Western Queensland Road Trip #10

Australia’s rural landscape is dotted with silos used for storing grain and silage, while water towers dominate the skyline of many country towns. Most are simply utilitarian structures, not given a second glance. But it’s becoming more common to see both silos and water towers being used as giant canvases.

The first painted silo appeared in Northam in Western Australia in 2015. Now, right across the country, there are 35 silos and 40 water towers decorated with scenes and characters typical of each region. This constantly growing collection is known as the Australian Silo Art Movement.

We came across two rural masterpieces on our road trip. The first was in Cunnamulla and was still being completed. The artist, Guido van Helten, was working high above the street on a blank section of the water tower.

The painting features young football players and celebrates an annual competition between teams from Cunnamulla and Charleville.

Our first glimpse of the silos at Thallon came as we drove along the highway. Even from this distance, across the bare drought-browned paddocks, the vivid colours in the paintings glowed .

The artwork titled “The Watering Hole” highlights a brilliant sunset over the Moonie River. Two pale-headed rosellas perch in a gum tree on the bank of the river. A mob of sheep in a dusty paddock represent the agricultural industries of the local area and a scarred tree acknowledges the traditional owners of the land.

The entire collection of painted silos and water towers can be viewed on the Australian Silo Art Trail website. If, like us, you’re planning a road trip in Australia make sure you download the map. You won’t want to miss any of these amazing works of art.

42 thoughts on “Larger Than Life

  1. The detail on the footballers is wonderful, Carol. I canโ€™t imagine working on that scale, (or at that height!). Fabulous works of art! ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚
    Australia is so big that I struggle to fit things into the larger picture, but like Denzil Iโ€™m horrified by the fires.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I can’t imagine how they are able to transfer what must start as a small design into such a huge panting. So clever. Yes, the fires are terrible and the numbers of homes and other buildings lost keeps increasing. Sadly some people have died too. It’s heartbreaking.

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  2. aren’t they marvellous? and how amazing are the artists to go so high and manage to work out what they need to do up there. it astonishes me how street artists can paint their works on these huge canvases. cheers sherry

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I am hardly ever at a loss for words, but this defies adjectives. I used the link to view all the silos and water towers and wish I could comment with words that express how in awe I am of those talented artists. These are truly amazing works of art and people must just stop their vehicles when they come upon one. We have murals – you have large art canvases. I am impressed. Thank you for sharing because I won’t have a chance to visit in person, but I certainly enjoyed my on-line visit. One word in summary – WOW!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Judy, I’m so pleased you followed the link to look at the rest. Aren’t they spectacular. Murals are becoming more popular here too and there are even weekends dedicated to creating more on the sides of buildings. It’s a wonderful way to nurture talent and beautify our towns and cities at the same time.

      Liked by 1 person

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