Paringa Goes Silo

Paringa Goes Silo
My first exposure to Silo Art was in Brim, Victoria. I have no idea why I was there, but it definitely wasn’t to look at silos, or art, in fact – if I’m being honest, silos and art are not something I would generally go out of my way to look at under normal circumstances.

That being said, when you have the opportunity to see artwork like this in person, it really is quite impressive. Taking something which – in many cases – once offered a practical use, yet now stands as a stark, bland reminder that the waves of change leave nothing untouched, and turning that into a work of visually stunning art takes no small amount of dedication and vision. Yet, silo art has now become more than just a simple expression of rural life, with the individual projects displaying unique artistic interpretations in amazing murals from artists both international and local.

Riverland local Les Webb is now looking to add his name to this illustrious list of artists combining their global efforts to breathe new life into silos across Australia, a move which will also add Paringa to the townships embracing this relatively new - and growing - form of artistic expression.

The target of Les’ flare; the old Viterra silos located on the Paringa side of the Murray River just across the Paringa Bridge. The property - which was purchased by Mark Yates in 2017 as an extension of his existing business - is currently being used as a construction yard for Yates Electrical Services’ various solar farm projects taking place around the region.
Yet, while the yard has seen a flurry of activity over the past year, the two grain silos on the northwest edge of the property boundaries have remained unused. So when Les Webb and Renmark Paringa Mayor Neil Martinson approached Mark Yates with the concept of using the silos as the ‘Gateway to the South Australian Silo Art Trail’, Mark was all for it – so much so, that he not only donated that area of his land for the cause, but also pledged a donation of $10,000 to give the project a start on the journey towards the $40,000 financial backing it needs to get off the ground.

“I think it’s important for projects like this to find their footing in local rural communities,” said Mark Yates, the director of Yates Electrical Services, “anything that drives tourism to our towns can only be a good thing, and I’m excited to see what positive effects a project like this will have.”

The current concept, which features a depiction of local bush legend ‘Possum’ and a landscape mural of the mighty Murray River is still in the design stage, with Les considering all options in front of him. You can keep track of the progress of the project by visiting their Facebook page here, or if you would like to donate, head here.

We look forward to hosting this fantastic initiative, and wish Les all the best for successfully seeing this through.

About the Author

Patrick is the Marketing and Communications Manager at Yates Electrical Services. When he's not designing stuff and writing stories, he performs as an acoustic soloist and spends time with his beautiful little family.

Patrick also likes long walks on the beach, sewing, and photoshopping himself to look like an Avenger. He really wishes he was an Avenger.