The Brim silo’s first struck the Australian social consciousness in early 2016 as media organisations, both print and digital, clambered over themselves to produce copy regarding the awe-inspiring site of painted, westward facing, double Geelong-silo’s (so named after their iron peaked roofs). The 30-metre tall deities to wheat and barley crops were painted to depict four local farming identities by talented, Brisbane street artist Guido Van Helten.
In search of a large, rural wheat silo to transform, Guido contacted street artists management company Juddy Roller who liased with GrainCorp to track down the Brim silo’s. Arriving on December 08, 2015, Guido set to work meeting and photographing a series of local identifies who remain anonymous to the wider world no doubt from their own wishes as well as the artists. The work took 21-days to complete, with Guido working through Christmas, New Year’s Day, a birthday and all manner of natures road blocks; extreme heat, flies, hot winds, a dust storm and lightening included. The paintbrush and cherry picker were put into work at first light each day, rested as the 1pm-4pm sun reached its fiery zenith and then once more engaged with the fade of evening light.
The Brim Active Community Group should take a great deal of credit for grasping this opportunity. It may have been presented to the town but the opportunity has been capitalised on with a smart community camping ground found on the townships western fringe. Honestly it’s better accommodated than some larger towns with smart amenities block (including showers), shaded kids playground with manicured, grassed BBQ area and some powered camping sites all positioned next to the scenic Yarriambiack Creek. Bring the extra-deet Bushman’s insect repellent and a face net as the mosquito horde here is ferocious after a wet winter.
One of the nicest and most understated benefits of the visit to Brim was simply just having a reason to be there and wander it’s quiet streets with camera in hand. So many happy, memories of small, town country life. From the enormous football ground, the overgrown country club golf course (to wet to mow), the corrugated tin roofed verandah of the Commercial Pub and whispers of yesteryear in the closed grounds of the former primary school.
Absolutely, unequivocally the painting of the Brim silo’s has bought much needed tourist dollars to not only the town itself but the greater region. In the three hours I roughly spent within the vicinity of the silos, thirty-odd vehicles would have arrived, disembarked, photographed and then moved on. Some portion of these will fuel up, feed up or stay overnight and this situation can be extrapolated right across the region within a three hour radius. For many years I’d eyed off the Wimmera/Mallee region of Victoria with the intention to tour these two famous cropping regions. The little township of Brim provided just the level of motivation needed to tip thoughts into action.