Welcome to Life Images by Jill

Welcome to Life Images by Jill.........Stepping into the light and bringing together the images and stories of our world.
I am a photographer, writer and multi-media artist. Through my blog I am
seeking to preserve images and memories of the beautiful world in which we live and the people in it.



Sunday, 12 November 2017

Farm Gate Art Trail & Wildflowers - Ravensthorpe, Western Australia

"What was that in the paddock back there?" I exclaimed, twisting my head out the window to look back the way we had come. My hubbie "threw out the anchors" (ie stopped the car), turned the car around, and headed back the way we had come. And there they were, Scarlet Banksias, standing tall and proud on the edge of the paddock. 

But they weren't the usual Scarlet Banksias - Banksia coccinea - that were on our list of wildflowers we hoped to see in the Fitzgerald River National Park. These were made of metal and what looked like street sweeper brushes. You can see a closer view of the art work (but of course I couldn't jump the fence) and the native flowers below. The artists had captured them beautifully. 

Later, when looking through our "The Fitzgerald Coast Holiday Guide" booklet, we discovered we were on the Farm Gate Art Trail. Constructed by local farmers through an initiative of the Ravensthorpe Regional Arts Council, the project was sparked to generate interest in the region’s diverse range of wildflowers. The Ravensthorpe Shire lies in the lower eastern part of Western Australia's great southern, famed for its wildflowers in the nearby Fitzgerald River National Park during spring. 

 Fitzgerald River National Park is a biodiversity hotspot, and is one the largest and most botanically significant national parks in Australia. Within the park are found nearly 20 per cent of Western Australia’s flora species, many of which occur only within its boundaries. WA Dept of Parks & Wildlife

The Farm Gate Art Trail also ties in with the Ravensthorpe Wildflower Show held annually in September.

The scarlet banksias had been constructed by Dianne and Greg Belli and erected in their paddock on the Ravensthorpe-Hopetoun Road. There was another of their art works a little further on. These are "Blue Boys", constructed from old tyres, poly water pipe, and sweeper brushes, in the style of the native Grass Trees -Xanthorrhoea.  Brilliant! How creative people are!

But how do old tanks transform into a Cornish Ware tea set, or street sweeper brushes become Scarlet Banksias and Blue Boy heads, or cool drink cans become a tin lady’s dress? There is even a quirky “T” tree. 

We were fascinated, so on a particularly windy day during our stay in Hopetoun we decided to ditch bush walking and instead set out in our car, guided by the tourist holiday guide and map, along the Farm Gate Art Trail. 

This is the "T-Tree" constructed by John and Jan Fletcher, which can been seen on the South Coast Highway, west of Ravensthorpe.

Sculpture workshops were run by Jodie Ditchburn and Tania Spencer in 2012 and 2013, and with the aid of welders, grinders and plasma cutters, bits of scrap metal, old farm implements, plough discs and wire were cut, welded and pushed into position to create the arts works.  

What followed was a lot of fun and late nights as whole families got together to create the art works which were positioned along the road at their farm gates. 

Officially launched in September 2012, the original pieces of the three year project were judged by ABC Gardening Australia presenter Angus Stewart. First prize was awarded to Sue Leighton and Colin Hughes with their entry, a collage of flowers on the side of an old truck, entitled Queen Beatrice, which can be seen in the "Blue Vista" estate just north of Hopetoun.

 Entrance to Blue Vista, a Cornish Ware "A Country High Tea", made from corrugated iron tanks, created by Sue Leighton and Colin Hughes with help from the Belli and Foulds families.

  Farm Gate Art Trail maps can be picked up at the Ravensthorpe Visitor Information Centre. The trail takes you along roads coming into Ravensthorpe from Lake King, Jerramungup, Hopetoun and Esperance.   You can also download a map here - Fitzgerald Coast - farm gate art trail

It looks like the Ravensthorpe High School also got involved. 

And how about this pair of bikinis made by RRAC, along the Hopetoun-Ravensthorpe Road, along with the Banksia corvijuga which only grows in a small area of Western Australia.

 More info on the Banksia corvijuga and image courtesy of - FloraBase-Banksia corvijuga

Dominating the view coming into Ravensthorpe you can’t miss the towering Ravensthorpe Silos artwork, which follows the flowering cycle of the Banksia. This 25 metre artwork on the grain silos was painted by world renowned street artist Amok Island, along with FORM and CBH in August 2016, and used 338 litres of paint.  There is a pull off area so you can see the artwork more closely. 

 This is part of a growing network of silos art in Australia. Others can be seen at Merredin and Northam in Western Australia. More info here - Public Art Ravensthorpe
and -  The West Australian - silo art project

The Ravensthorpe Regional Arts Council (RRAC) is a non-profit volunteer based organisation that provides a diverse arts and cultural program of events throughout the Ravensthorpe region.
 For more information go to their Facebook page or search for Rave About Arts on the net.

For a map of the Farm Gate Art Trail click here: -  Fitzgerald Coast - farm gate art trail

Update - January 2018 - my article about the Farm Gate Art Trail has just been published in Curious Australis section of the On The Road magazine, January-February 2018 edition.

 Below you can see Scarlet Banksias, crafted by Ainsley and Paul Foulds and painted by Andrew Britton. 

Where is it? Ravensthorpe is 541 km south-east of Perth
Allow at least half a day to do the Trail.
Best time to visit: Spring when the wildflowers are in bloom.
I hope you have enjoyed this little tour of the Farm Gate Art Trail. It was a great thing for us to do on a blustery afternoon.
Next week I hope to come back to show you "real" wildflowers from the Fitzgerald River National Park. 

Thank you so much for stopping by. I value your comments and look forward to hearing from you. I will try to visit your blogs in return. Have a wonderful week. 

I am linking up to the link-ups below. Please click on the links to see fabulous contributions from around the world - virtual touring at its best!

Life in Reflection

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  1. Very interesting aspects, lovely project... never seen before such open area full of amazing art works from various sources and ideas! I especially like the photo instants with blooms and one of Blue Vista, "A High Tea"...as you described above in your essay.
    A very nice new and inspired week ahead!

  2. Jill - this is wonderful in so many ways - it makes my environmental heart happy that artists have re-used 'trash' to create such eye-catching pieces, and ones that celebrate nature as well. Engaging a broad swath of the community - artists, farmers, students - we need more of this in the world today. We have numerous silos in this area; I wonder if anyone has considered using them as a 'canvas'? Thanks so much for sharing this with us!

  3. I love that these country towns get together and help build tourism.

  4. It's fantastic how the community gets together to invigorate tourism to these small towns. I love the idea of Farm Gate Art Trail and my fave has to be the blue and white High Tea exhibit . Also the idea of silo art ... what a great idea to vamp up huge silos and to give artists creative opportunity to do their thing.

  5. Such unique art work! I always love these kind of surprises when venturing out.

  6. What a great outing Jill and so interesting to share with All Seasons! Before I read your text, I thought such statuesque flowers (the Banksia) - they're so life like! But my favorite is the letter-tree:) and the last flowers.Many thanks and have a lovely week, Jesh~

  7. Oh, my goodness! How delightful the visit to Farm Gate Art Trail must be! Very clever. I wouldn't know where to look first. Have a fun filled week.

  8. Looks like a really fun road trip, nice pics Jill

  9. I'm glad you ditched the bush walk to check out this amazing art.
    Love the silos!

  10. What a delightful place! Put a smile on my face.

  11. Those scarlet banksias are amazing! I've never seen that variety before. :-) They remind me of a Dr. Seuss book.

  12. Hello, Jill!
    I really enjoyed all the sculptures and artwork. The painted silos are cool too. What a neat place to see, I would like to visit this Art Trail. Thanks for sharing , great post and photos. Enjoy your day and new week!

  13. What a great place. I especially love the letter tree and the tea party in the grass.

  14. Awesome art. There are so many photo opportunities here, I wouldn't know where to begin.

  15. I loved touring the Farm Gate Art Trail, love the T tree and the blue and white Cornish ware the most! What a wonderful initiative and how much joy it must bring to all who are lucky enough to discover these amazing pieces. The silo art also blew me away, great post!

  16. Fascinating!
    Thanks for sharing at https://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2017/11/cars-were-classy-back-then.html

  17. Love these photos! especially the teapot!

  18. Hello Jill, what a wonderful display of public art. People are so creative with their materials and ideas. This would such a great tour. The blue and white Cornish tea set is lovely, as are the scarlet banksias.

  19. Wow! This is amazing. Particularly the wheat silos mural paintings. But also the sculptured pieces are fantastic as well. Love the bikini! You're lucky your husband stops for you - mine just keeps on driving! #TeamLovinLife

  20. These are great! Looks like many of these works of art belong to a mad hatter party. Enjoy seeing how people get creative and end up raising an interest to a city or area. #TPThursday

  21. What wonderful finds! I thoroughly enjoy coming across art like this! The details are just fabulous. Thanks so much for sharing them!!!!

  22. What great sculptures these are, what a very interesting place to visit. I want to try and remember and show my oldest daughter, for she would love this.
    This week we in the states celebrate Thanksgiving, but I shall pass that along to you as well my friend, for whom I am also thankful for. Hugs~

  23. I love the Banksia on the Silos. I'm a big fan of Silo art. There is a great array of ideas here and the implementation is exquisite.

  24. Jill, I love the blue and white tea art! Sylvia D.


I hope you have enjoyed your visit to my blog. Thank you for stopping by and for taking the time to comment. I read and very much appreciate every comment and love hearing from you. I will try to visit your blogs in return.