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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.

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Monday, 15 June 2020

Explore the painted silos trail - Western Australia


Hi everyone, I hope you are all doing ok. 

Over a year ago I briefly wrote that we had been on a trip through the Western Australian wheatbelt to see the painted grain silos trail, but then I didn't get back to showing them to you. So now that travel restrictions have eased in Western Australia, I am back to show the silos to you today. 

I don't know about where you live, but in Australia painted grain silos are a big thing all across the country. The Western Australian trail extends over 1000 kilometres through the wheatbelt to the South coast. Made possible by joint fundings and a partnership with CBH Group, our state's largest grain handler, it is Western Australia's biggest outdoor public gallery painted by internationally acclaimed artists.


You should allow at least a few days to a week to cover this trail, stopping at towns or campsites overnight along the way. There is so much more to see than just the silos. 

Heading out of Perth your first stop would be Northam, 99kms from Perth. 

In March 2015 internationally renowned artists HENSE (USA) and Phlegm (UK) transformed eight, 38 metre silos over 16 days, creating Australia’s first ever painted silo mural and kickstarting a national trend. 
 Phlegm rendered his signature whimsical characters in fantastical flying machines, while HENSE produced his customary abstract patterns in explosive blocks of fluro.


We then head eastward along the Great Eastern Highway and the Golden Pipeline Heritage Trail to Merredin in the heart of the wheatbelt.  (161 km Northam to Merredin)

 In August 2017 Western Australian street artist Kyle Hughes-Odgers completed artworks across four 35-metre high silos on the edge of Merredin. His work tells a story about Merredin, its natural environment in the colours, its diverse community in the artwork’s abstract forms and figures, its landforms and agricultural history.


Merredin is close to where my family farm, so it is a handy place for us to stop overnight.

Or you consider camping at the old Kwolyn townsite free camp approx 99kms south west of Merredin on the Bruce Rock Quairading Road and visit nearby Kokerbin Rock while you are there. I blogged about it here: Camping out in the Western Australian wheatbelt
There are toilets, camp kitchen, BBQ, some shelters, and plenty to room to set up. 


From here we head south to Katanning. (296km) Here you will not find painted silos, but many colourful painted walls and transformer boxes. Collect or download a map from the Visitor Centre to help you find them.

 In November 2017, WA artists Brenton See, Chris Nixon, Darren Hutchens and Mel McVee, along with Tunisian Karim Jabbari, arrived in the Wheatbelt town of Katanning to paint a series of colourful murals on walls and transformer boxes throughout town. These smaller murals compliment the broader Trail through distinctive and colourful artworks on a street level.
About 17 kilometres east of Katanning is a free camp site we had decided we wanted to check out - Lake Ewlyamartup. 

We found it to be a pleasant place to stop overnight. This is a salt lake which is popular with water skiers, kayakers, sailors, swimmers, picnickers and birdwatchers. Evidently there are 95 species of birds to be found here, but it isn't always full of water, which it wasn't when we visited. It wasn't too busy so we easily found a spot here when we arrived around 2.30pm in time for afternoon tea and a walk around the area. 

There are some picnic tables, shelters, toilets, gas BBQs and toilets. 
Located next to farmland, it was a peaceful place to spend the night.


After a peaceful night we enjoyed bacon and eggs for breakfast, and stopped at the tiny town of Nyabing the next morning, and bought a cake from ladies running a cake stall for their community church. I do like these tiny towns, and to find a cake stall with homemade cakes was a bonus!

Then on to the next silo town - Pingrup. Sheep population 300,000 - people population 400 (100kms from Katanning to Pingrup)
 In September 2018, Miami-based artist Evoca1 painted the 25 metre high artwork as a tribute to Western Australia’s tenacious, resourceful farming communities.


It was nice to stop along the way when we saw a few wildflowers - this is a hakea - possibly the Pincushion Hakea 


Our next silo town is Newdegate (79km Pringrup to Newdegate) where we had lunch and viewed the impressive and very detailed silo art. It really amazes me how the artists do these works on such a large scale.

 Native Western Australian wildlife takes centre stage in Brenton See’s sky-high silo art at Newdegate painted in June 2018. The paintings represent the region’s native Western Bearded Lizard, Mallee Fowl, Thigh Spotted Tree Frog and Red-tailed Phascogale.

 From here we headed back west to Lake Grace (52kms Newdegate to Lake Grace) , as our three day weekend break was nearly over. But if you are doing this silo trail in full, you would continue east and then south to your next silo at Ravensthorpe.

We had another camping spot to investigate before returning home. About 20 kilometres north of Lake Grace is a free camp at Jam Patch. Set in 202ha of bushland, dominated by salmon gums, jam trees, and York gums, there is plenty of room to set up. There are no facilities, but that doesn't really bother us, as we have everything on board. Arriving at 2pm we had plenty of time of explore the three marked walk trails which make this an interesting overnight stop. 

We tucked ourselves away at the edge of the large cleared area. 
Interpretive signage along the trails tell you about the natural features and the history of Jam Patch which includes the old tennis court originally made from compacted ant hills. It was a very peaceful overnight stop which I think would be lovely in the spring wildflower time.


But back to the Silos trail. If you are continuing on from Newdegate your next stop is Ravensthorpe. (133km Newdegate to Ravensthorpe).

 In August 2016 Fremantle-based artist Amok Island created six stages of the flowering of the Banksia baxteri, onto both sides of the silos -  an amazing 25 metre high wildflower inspired mural.  

While you are in Ravensthorpe you can explore the Farm Gate Art Trail which I showed to you when we visited back in 2017. And in spring the Fitzgerald National Park near the coast is a must.


From here you turn back west to Albany, and the last silos on the trail, located in the port. (293 km Ravensthorpe to Albany).

In March 2018, the artist duo The Yok & Sheryo took on the CBH Group grain silos, and referenced Albany’s pristine environment and sea-life with one very happy-looking local marine creature, the ruby seadragon.


 So there you have it - the Western Australian silos trail. If you haven't seen them, add it to your list of local travel soon. 

More information and stories from the trail and a downloadable map at: Public Silo Trail
I hope you can get out and Wander out Yonder soon. 

Have you been doing any local travel lately? Are there painted silos in your area? Perhaps you would like to tell us about it in your comments.


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!

Hello there! I love reading your comments. If you scroll down to the bottom you can comment too! I would love to hear from you.

26 comments:

  1. Good morning ... It's time for walking through Bloggerland. Visiting each other. Thank you for sharing this interesting silos, with amazing painting.

    Stay healthy and well.
    Happy MosaicMonday

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  2. Oh wow, the painted silos are just beautiful. I love them all. The wildflowers are pretty too.
    what a great trip! Enjoy your day, have a happy new week!

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  3. How awesome! Different, cool and what a way to liven things up instead of the old boring metal silo stuck in the air. I think it's great that they are doing this.
    Dawn aka Spatulas On Parade

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  4. Fabulous Jill. Definitely a trail I'd like to do now that we can travel around the state again. Fabulous photos and a good incentive for regional towns and tourism.

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    1. I love painted silos - we have seen them "over-east" too.

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  5. Those silos are absolutely amazing!

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  6. We don't have any silos, but we do have lots of wall murals in our town. One graces our water treatment plant and was just painted over with a Black Lives Matter statement. There was a bit of uproar online, but the artist stopped it by supporting the message even on top of his art. - Margy

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    1. we don't have the silos in our town either - but we do have a great range of street art which I love.

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  7. What a great idea! I love the varieties and colors! I always wish the cell phone towers were decorated somehow like maybe to look like giant flowers.

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    1. sounds like a great idea Rose! You should send the idea to your Town Council!

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  8. Jill, That is gorgeous art! Thanks for sharing all that beauty. Have a great week. Sylvia D.

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  9. I enjoyed your silo photos and have thought about doing a similar trip too. We have seen quite a few painted silos in our travels but the only one in WA that I can recall was the one in Ravensthorpe. Thanks for the photo trip and hope we can all get out a bit more soon and maybe even across the border.

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    1. we saw the beautiful painted silos in Kimba last year.

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  10. Jill - it is wonderful to see spaces such as silos being used for art. My favorites are the Brenton See silos. Thanks for sharing these national treasures with everyone at Mosaic Monday. "It only takes one" for a trend to start!

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  11. So much clever artistry - I loved to see these painted silos!
    Thanks for sharing at https://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2020/06/glowing.html

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  12. I thought I've seen painted grain silos and I have, but NOTHING like what you picture here. These are wonderful. We need to up our game here in the US!!

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  13. I’ve never been east of Albany. Now I find out I should have looked in the port for a silo painting. Thanks for sharing the whole painted silo trip from Perth. During the stay at home, I am enjoying my ARMCHAIR traveling.

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  14. I love how our country towns are adopting these works of art across our country. They really are breathtaking & bring a bit of life back into the Bush, which desperately need it.
    Blessings,
    Jennifer

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    1. I agree - they actually induce you to visit little towns you would never think to visit.

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  15. I would certainly love to travel that road. The artistry is just fabulous to see!

    It's awesome to see you at 'My Corner of the World' this week! Thanks for linking up.

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  16. Beautiful ones! What a difference this makes! Hubby found a video of Heesco Khosnaran , there are also three fantastic youtube videos on youtube, showing this amazing artist at work.

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  17. What a great idea to turn these huge silos into works of art1 I love the bright ones - so much visual impact on the landscape. A very pretty flower, the pincushion Hakea:) Thank you for your kind comment on the sale of the house. Because it was soo quick, I wasn't quite prepared, so now we have to double down on getting packed and move out by July 12.Wishing you a beautiful rest of June and July, Jesh

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  18. What a great idea to turn boring industrial blank siloes into works of art! I love them!

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  19. dearest friends, I am so sorry about the unwanted SPAM that crept into the comments this week. I have got rid of them! Not nice and not wanted.

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  20. Enjoyed your silo trail story. Thanks Jill - your blog is great read

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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.