Art in unexpected places

Australian and international artists create outdoor art gallery on WA silos

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Cultural group FORM unveils silo art trail in Western Australia

A RECENTLY completed silo art trail is attracting thousands of art lovers and tourists to regional Western Australia.

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ART TRAIL: US artist Hense produced this vibrant design on silos in the Wheatbelt town of Northam. Photo: Bewley Shaylor, courtesy of FORM

ART TRAIL: US artist Hense produced this vibrant design on silos in the Wheatbelt town of Northam. Photo: Bewley Shaylor, courtesy of FORM

The PUBLIC Silo Trail created by not-for-profit cultural organisation FORM in partnership with the state's largest grain handler, CBH Group, has become Western Australia's largest outdoor art gallery and is set to become one of its iconic drive trails.

SILO ART; The stunning Six Stages of Banksia Baxteri was created by Amok Island in Ravensthorpe. Photo: Bewley Shaylor, courtesy of FORM

SILO ART; The stunning Six Stages of Banksia Baxteri was created by Amok Island in Ravensthorpe. Photo: Bewley Shaylor, courtesy of FORM

Taking in silos in Albany, Ravensthorpe, Newdegate, Pingrup, Katanning, Merredin and Northam, the trail took seven internationally recognised artists a total of 92 days to create.

They used more than 1700 litres of paint over three years to transform the rural heartland into an open public art gallery.

Traversing landscapes from leafy green hillsides to salt lake country, wide open plains to inspiring rock formations, the trail celebrates the distinctiveness of these WA regions through world class mural art.

The Silo Trail evolved from FORM's award-winning PUBLIC festival of art and ideas (2014-2016), which created more than 170 artworks in public spaces across metropolitan and regional areas.

Visitors can either choose to drive the complete 1000km trail from start to finish or try three distinct and easy-to-manage smaller drives.

The Golden Edge

Northam-Merredin

Stretching from Perth to Kalgoorlie and hailed as one of Australia's extraordinary engineering feats, the Golden Pipeline, with its original roadside pumphouses, is one of the first landmarks you'll meet on this epic drive deep into the Wheatbelt region.

The trail meanders through bright canola fields, farming pastures and wineries.

You will see silo murals painted by three of the world's leading urban artists - Phlegm (UK) with his whimsical flying machines, Hense's (US) bold, abstract patterns, and Western Australian Kyle Hughes-Odgers' splash of giant figures and geometric patterns, that celebrate agricultural roots.

The Central Heart

Katanning - Pingrup - Newdegate

Kick off this trail in colourful Katanning and follow the salmon gums and salt lakes to the silo mural at Pingrup.

Here the work of celebrated US artist Evoca1, famous for his photorealistic style, will wow you with a depiction of the agricultural heritage of the town - dog on a tractor, jockey on a horse and a lamb in a man's arms.

Head north-east to Newdegate and you'll come across a silo painted by WA's Brenton See with a depiction of mallee fowls, western bearded lizard, thigh spotted tree frog and red-tailed phascogale.

Wave to Wave

Ravensthorpe-Albany

This expansive drive via the wild south coast beckons the adventurer.

You'll see amazing silo art from Brenton See's native flora inspired creation to Amok Island's soaring 25-metre Six Stages of Banksia Baxteri and the 30-metre high ruby sea dragon by art duo The Yok and Sheryo in Australia's southernmost port, Albany.

Plus, along the way, travellers can take in mother nature's own piece of natural art - Wave Rock at Hyden.

The granite cliff has been sculpted over millennia by weather and water into a spectacular 15-metre high curve.

For more information drop into a local visitor information centre, call FORM on (08) 9226-2799 or publicsilotrail.com

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