Arrivals & Departures Merredin to begin joining dots on PUBLIC Silo Trail

Photo of Angie Tomlinson

Merredin's grain storage silos will be the first site to undergo the most beautiful of transformations as part of the PUBLIC Silo Trail through Western Australia. And the artist to do it is more than up for the job.

Anyone driving down the Mitchell Freeway would have noticed, and more than likely admired, the giant blue people staring down from a building in West Leederville. 

The mural is the beautiful and distinctive work of Perth artist Kyle Hughes-Odgers who yesterday was named by cultural organisation FORM to be the first to flex his considerable artistic muscles as part the PUBLIC Silo Trail.

To be created over the next year, the trail will made up of national and international artworks on infrastructure throughout WA’s regional heartland. 

Merredin will be the first town to kick-off the open-air gallery project, with Hughes-Odgers to paint a 35m-high mural across its grain storage silos next month.

His mural will be visible from the Great Eastern Highway throughout the process, which will be documented through film and photography.

The artwork will draw on Merredin’s rich natural environment, its diverse community and its strong agricultural history, referencing the town’s seasons, harvests, waterways and land formations.

"I have painted all over the world but having grown up in Western Australia I feel honoured to work on a project of this scale in the Wheatbelt,” Hughes-Odgers said.

FORM has partnered with with CBH Group and Western Power to create the trail, which FORM executive director Lynda Dorrington hopes will enhance cultural tourism in regional WA. 

“This trail offers a new way of experiencing Western Australia’s agricultural heartland,” Ms Dorrington said. 

“This year-long project will connect a network of regional towns by a common thread of art on an epic scale, while a story gathering and social documentary project will celebrate the regional communities forming the backbone of our State.

“We want to cast a light on these beautiful, distinctive regions, reveal what they have to offer to the rest of the State and help us connect with what makes us Western Australians."

Merredin's silos will join the already-painted CBH Avon silos outside Northam and the Ravensthorpe silos to begin joining the dots on the trail. 

Top image: Drinking Problems, Kyle Hughes-Odgers, Truman Brewery gates, Brick Lane, London. Image courtesy of the artist.

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