Silo art comes to New South Wales
A bold public art project by Bland Shire Council in central New South Wales has seen visitor numbers to the area skyrocket.
The Weethalle Silo Art project, the first silo mural in New South Wales, was completed in June and has sparked an economic boom in the region with visitors travelling from across New South Wales and interstate to see the work by Melbourne-based artist Heesco Khosnaran.
Heesco used 200 litres of Haymes paint and 300 spray cans to cover the 31m by 21m canvas with an image that celebrates Weethalle’s rich agricultural heritage.
Bland Shire Council first put the project forward in early 2016 after admiring the stunning images and success of the Brim Silo Art project in country Victoria.
A successful Country Arts Support Program (CASP) grant through Regional Arts New South Wales turned the vision to reality.
Council was initially negotiating with GrainCorp for the use of the silos, which stand on the decommissioned Barmedman to Rankins Springs rail line, but at the time of calling for expressions of interest learnt that they had been sold to a private buyer.
What initially seemed to be a major setback turned into a blessing. The new owners of the silo, Paul and Jenny Northey, are long standing local farmers who got right behind the concept and took an active involvement from the outset.
Word of mouth from locals and their pride in sharing photos and updates on social media helped images of the silos reach over one million people in the space of two weeks.
It took Heesco approximately two weeks to complete the project and the mural was officially opened on 1 July in front of approximately 500 people – more than double the normal population of Weethalle.