Earlier this year artist Jimmy DVate painted a mural on the GrainCorp silos on the outskirts of of Rochester.
The town had been really struggling after the effects of droughts, floods and the closure of the Murray Goulburn factory. Like so many other regional towns, the determination and resilience of the local community saw them looking for innovative ways to support their businesses. They crowdfunded the money necessary to commission the large art works.
We had no idea about any of this until turning into the town Kelly suddenly “Wowee” & directed me to absolutely pull over now.
There is a small car park in front of the silos that I absolutely pulled into. It was already full of cars and campervans and caravans with people scattered about snapping and instagramming the scene.
A clever idea methinks. Despite his fear of heights Jimmy (an artist already celebrated for his big artworks in Europe) used a cherrypicker to paint these striking murals of a squirrel glider and an azure kingfisher set against a background of the towns bridge and the Campese river. They are very detailed and glow with much coolness.
And Im pretty sure the art is having the desired effect on the community. As I said, the silos had snagged plenty of travellers whist we were there and once stopped there is a good chance they are going to cross the road for a coffee and a look around.
Even though we had only just had a coffee we indeed looked around the town for a bit, and on the way out Kelly signed the silo’s visitors book and left a small donation in the box.
In painting its silos Rochester joins the surrounding areas of Tungamah, Goorambat and Devenish to open up a popular silo art road trail that actually stretches all the way from Western Australia, through South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales and onwards to Queensland.
Travel Oz and collect the set.