Thanks to a number of creative projects and government grants, country towns around Australia are being transformed into sites of world-class street and mural art. Painted on massive grain silos, water tanks and increasingly covering entire towns, they are changing the landscape of the Australian bush.
The grain silos are particularly incredible. Many of them are close to 100 years old and stand tens of metres tall. For so long they have remained blank and bland, serving no other purpose than the one they were built for. However, in the past few years, they have taken on particular importance.
Not only are these new outdoor art galleries driving up tourist numbers for all but forgotten places and keeping businesses afloat, but many also depict and represent the local people, illustrating a real sense of place, and telling the stories of the bush to those who have only come for a visit.
The Western Australia Public Silo Trail begins in Northam and crisscrosses the south east of the state until it reaches Albany on the southern coast.
👨🎨️ Phlegm and Hense
👨🎨️ Amok Island
As the largest regional centre in the eastern Wheatbelt, Merredin has plenty of stories to tell.
👨🎨️ Kyle Hughes-Odgers
Seven transformer boxes and five murals have added colour and variety to this country town.
👨🎨️ Mel McVee, Brenton See, Chris Nixon, Darren Hutchens and Karim Jabbari
The farming community is immortalised with depiction of merino sheep, the iconic races and even a tractor that was found parked in town.
Nature provides inspiration again, from the Western Bearded Dragon to the Red-tailed phascogale as well as the Malleefowl—the bird symbol of the Wheatbelt.
👨🎨️ Brenton See
“Each silo side shows a different stage of the flowering cycle of this species of Banksia: from flower buds, to full bloom, to seedpods developing, drying out and opening,” explained the artist.
👨🎨️ Amok Island
The ruby sea dragon joins a number of murals in the city centre.
👨🎨️ Yok & Sheryo
The next time you jump in the car for a drive into the Western Australia countryside—whether it’s for a cross-country road trip, a one-day adventure or a nighttime city escape to see the stars—check out one or more of these tremendous murals.
Afterward, you could take a break at the bakery in town for a pie and coffee or stop off at the local watering hole to meet the townspeople and hear the stories straight from the horse’s mouth.
Australia has more than 30 grain silos painted across the country.