Australia Post’s stamp of approval for WA silo art

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VideoRavensthorpe silo art

One of the most iconic paint jobs in WA has been immortalised on a limited-edition, $1 stamp created by Australia Post.

The Ravensthorpe silos — adorned with wildflowers, birds, honey possums and a New Holland honey eater — have attracted hundreds of visitors since they were painted in 2016.

Now, the south coast town’s silo mural has been featured on one of four Australia Post $1 stamps. Other towns’ silos selected were Brim in Victoria, Thallon in Queensland and Weethalle in NSW.

Australia Post philatelic manager Michael Zsolt said the stamps paid tribute to the local communities where each silo was based.

“Silo art projects are a magnificent symbol of the local people, natural environment, history and industries that are at the heart of these rural communities,” he said.

“The remarkable painted grain silos have revitalised the local towns, many of which have suffered from drought or population attrition.

VideoPerth artist Kyle Hughes-Odgers has spent two weeks creating an artwork that towers over the Merredin landscape.

“These murals have put small country towns firmly on the national and international map, attracting an increasing number of visitors.”

Perth-based art and culture non-for-profit FORM transformed the Ravensthorpe silos into a work of art as part of a Statewide project with CBH in 2016.

Titled Six Stages of Banksia baxteri, the mural took 31 days and 388 litres of paint to be created by Fremantle artist Amok Island.

His silo art is visible from the South Coast Highway and Newdegate and Ravensthorpe Road, and the Hopetoun Ravensthorpe Road to the east.

For almost four years, the WA silo trail project has transformed mundane silos at Northam, Ravensthorpe, Albany and Merredin into stunning giant murals.

Artist Guido van Helten created this masterpiece on silos at Brim, Victoria.
Camera IconArtist Guido van Helten created this masterpiece on silos at Brim, Victoria. Credit: Australia Post
Artists Draphl and The Zookeeper created this silo art at Thallon in Queensland.
Camera IconArtists Draphl and The Zookeeper created this silo art at Thallon in Queensland. Credit: Australia Post
Artist Guido van Helten created this masterpiece on silos at Brim, Victoria.
Camera IconArtist Guido van Helten created this masterpiece on silos at Brim, Victoria. Credit: Australia Post

The final two murals, at Newdegate and Pingrup, will be completed later this year.

FORM and silo owner CBH made history in 2015 when they created first silo art in WA. The colourful work was painted on the 38m silos at the CBH Avon site in the Wheatbelt.

Another stamp shows the first silo art in eastern Australia, at GrainCorp’s Brim silos in Victoria. Brisbane artist Guido van Helten spent a month living in Brim while painting the silos.

The artwork depicts four farmers, three male and one female, shielding their faces from the midday sun.

No one really knows who the four people depicted on the concrete walls are, something the artist wanted to keep mum, with the real story in the eye of the beholder.

The success of the mural as a tourist attraction encouraged the Yarriambiack Shire to commission five additional GrainCorp silos, now known as the Wimmera-Mallee Silo Art Trail.

Draphl and The Zookeepers artists’ work Watering Hole at Thallon in New South Wales has also been immortalised on a stamp.

An initiative of Thallon Progress Association and GrainCorp, the work shows a farming landscape and the iconic Moonie River across four 30m high, 40m wide silos.

It was completed last year, including a sacred tree acknowledging the community’s indigenous history and sheep to reference the region’s wool industry.

The pair of artists, Joel Fergie and Travis Vinson, used little more than an A4 impression to plan the piece after learning to paint through graffiti.

The last stamp depicts a shearer holding a sheep, while a farmer examines his crop of ripened wheat.

It was a three-week labour of love for Melbourne artist Heesco Khosnaran on the Bland Shire Council’s silos.

The artist stuck to a theme of reflecting the local community, including its historical and agricultural ties.

The limited edition stamps are available at Australia Post shops now. They are also available by phoning 1800 331 794 and online at auspost.com.au/stamps

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