Artists back proposal to brighten Wagga’s abandoned grain silos with Wiradjuri artwork

OPPORTUNITY: Wagga artist Tyrone Hoerler is excited about at the prospect of potentially painting over Riverina grain silos with Wiradjuri artwork. Picture: Les Smith
OPPORTUNITY: Wagga artist Tyrone Hoerler is excited about at the prospect of potentially painting over Riverina grain silos with Wiradjuri artwork. Picture: Les Smith

Wagga artists have backed a proposal to transform abandoned silos across the Riverina into eye-catching canvases for indigenous designs.

It follows a suggestion to foster a tourist trail between Albury and Wagga featuring redecorated grain and water towers.

The redevelopment of silos into art canvases has been successfully launched in Victoria’s Wimmera-Mallee region and other New South Wales projects are ongoing in conjunction with Graincorp.

Now, Wagga artists, such as local brushmaster Tyrone Hoerler, are looking to get their work 100ft high.

“It’d be an awesome idea,” he said.

“I’ve never been involved in a project of that scale but I think it would be incredible.”

Acclaimed Wagga artist and Wiradjuri elder Aunty Kath Withers is another resident backing the idea.

“I’d love to be involved if that got up off the ground but I don’t think I’ll be up the ladders,” she said.

SUPPORT: Aunty Kath Withers is a fan of the idea to redecorate Riverina grain silos.

SUPPORT: Aunty Kath Withers is a fan of the idea to redecorate Riverina grain silos.

“You could definitely print out a stencil for a design that could work well.”

Though the idea remains in its infancy, Aunty Kath believes a focus on Wiradjuri art could headline a formal submission to Graincorp, the silo providers.

“You just want something meaningful to our region - I wouldn’t want to go copying other designs or ideas because that defeats the purpose,” she said.

Eastern Riverina Arts CEO Scott Howie lent his support to the idea but issued a similar cautioned against replicating other silos stroke for stroke.

“We support any push to develop and support art within the community,” he said.

“However, it’s important to ensure we are engaging local artists and creating unique pieces that reflect the region rather than mimicking existing works.”

Graincorp corporate affairs manager Luke O’Donnell was open to the suggestion, stating projects were encouraged but may be subject to review.

“GrainCorp strongly supports silo art projects across our network,” he said.

“Silo art is one of the most challenging large scale murals currently being completed around the world and requires a special skill set to ensure outstanding quality.

“In some cases, local artists may need to provide their portfolio of previous works before being approved to paint on GrainCorp silos.”

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