Paint rollers and projections at the ready! The GrainCorp silos in Quirindi, New South Wales will come to life later this month with a mural and a light show cementing their spot on the Australian Silo Art Trail.
The project, more than 4 years in the making, is set to put Quirindi on the tourism trail with a painting and visual production that resonates with the local residents.
The Quirindi Silo Art Committee, led by Ian Carter, has advocated passionately for a project they know will mean the world to their rural community.
“This project will give Quirindi a bit of a boost. We feel the town has been in need of some revitalisation.
“We see silo artworks providing an increased sense of community happiness, stemming from enjoyable interactions with high quality art, beautification of the everyday environment and reinforced and increased town pride.Ian Carter, Quirindi Silo Art Committee
“The community has been intrinsically involved in the project since its inception, so there’s a real sense of connectedness and inclusion and we can’t wait to see the completed mural.”
In addition to the painted mural, the project also includes an innovative light projection, managed by Illuminart Australia, featuring an evening light show and complementary animations for the painted mural.
Bringing contemporary design, animation and storytelling to the table
Western Australia based contemporary artist Peter Ryan has been chosen to complete the mural.
While he’s holding the artwork design close to his chest for now, he says it will pay homage to the rich history of Quirindi and Liverpool Plains region.
“I was provided with a lot of information about the history of Quirindi and Liverpool Plains region, which has helped guide the design concept,” he says.
“One of the members of the Silo Art Committee, Jason Allan, shared some fascinating Indigenous-themed stories about how certain animals worked with the Indigenous community as helpers and protectors.
Peter adds: “I was happy to learn all I could to make sure my final design resonated with the members who live and breathe Quirindi. My concept will be a story of past, present and future of the Liverpool Plains region.
“I’ve wanted to paint a silo since the first time I saw one painted years ago. When I found out about the Quirindi project and saw the location in the heart of the town where it would be seen every day by passers-by, I knew it was special.
“It has real community pride associated with it, and I feel it will be more than just a mural.”
So, how exactly does one paint a tall, porous, curved surface?
Peter says the unique process of painting a grain silo will take approximately six weeks from start to finish.
“My process is similar to how I paint a fine art on canvas; I’m investing a lot of time into an artwork I want to last, and I know that quality products on a quality surface is the first step to success.
“The first step will be to apply a prep coat over the concrete, then I’ll spray a coloured undercoat to the whole silo. After that, I’ll be drawing on a grid I’ve made from various markings and elements of the silo, then matching the design around the silo before I begin the lengthy detailed painting with rollers and brushes.”
Breathing new life into monolithic landmarks
Working with local councils and acclaimed artists, GrainCorp’s Silo Art program is part of the company’s commitment to supporting the economic livelihood of regional communities.
The first silo art project was completed in the Victorian town of Brim in 2015; since then, an additional 13 projects have been completed on GrainCorp silos in Queensland, NSW and Victoria.
“GrainCorp is committed to growing the Australian Silo Art Trail to draw art lovers and tourists back to regional communities, and Quirindi has certainly earned its place on the trail,” says Kyle Docherty, GrainCorp’s Community Engagement Manager.
“Our silos at Quirindi have been a real landmark in town for the local community for over 100 years. We’re delighted that they’ll serve as the canvas for an artwork that represents and celebrates the proud and rich history of the region.”
“We’re thrilled to work with the Quirindi Silo Art Committee, Rotary Club of Quirindi, Liverpool Plains Shire Council and the talented artist Peter Ryan to bring their story to life.”