Grains of inspiration

Natalie BrownThe West Australian

Against the dry Northam landscape, the only splash of colour you would usually see alongside the CBH grain silos would be the fluorescent jacket of a truck driver.

However the normally nondescript structures have undergone a technicolour makeover, transforming them into the most unlikely of tourist attractions.

Not-for-profit art group Form has enlisted the creativity of two international street artists - American Alex "Hense" Brewer and British artist Phlegm - to turn the silos into a striking artwork by each designing a piece over four cylinders as an extension of its city art project PUBLIC.

Organisers hope the silo art, which is expected to be finished in a week, will create the first pit stop in a cultural trail which will weave through WA's regional communities.

Phlegm has used his silo quota to create a painstakingly detailed monochrome, while Brewer has used his concrete canvas for a bright spray of overlapping colour.

"It's a beautiful landscape and in this setting, with not a whole lot of colour, what was attractive to me was to use really bright colours that would really contrast against that landscape," he said.

Brewer, whose work has previously adorned a Perth CBD mural and a Washington church, said he and two Form production staff each spent up to 11 hours a day painting the silos with the aid of a crane.

"What's deceiving about this is, we can stand here and look up and say, 'That red looks pretty small'," he said. "Well, that took us like probably two-and-a-half hours just to do that."

Project manager Rhianna Pezzaniti said the artists were deliberately chosen for their contrasting styles, and already the works have become a talking point among the locals.

"All of these truckies and all of the employees here, every so often they'll jump out of their little hidey holes and be taking photos ... you can see people driving past slowly," she said.

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