Moveable silo art? It’s happening in this small Victorian town

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The small Victorian town of Dookie is adding its name to the silo art trail, but in doing so has put a unique twist on the popular art trend.

Local arts organisation Dookie Arts, which is behind the Nomadic Silos project, asked local farmers to donate or loan mobile grain silos and then commissioned artists to create a design on them.

Dookie Arts committee member Andrew Sands, the director of the project, said they wanted to have their own unique take on silo art.

“It’s been an old idea that I’ve been mulling over for a while actually. Just to try something a bit different,” Mr Sands said.

“We’ve always tried to do little, artistic sorts of projects.”

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See the spray can artist create an iconic silo artwork in Manildra.

There are five grain silos in the collection, each with their own individual design and story behind them.

The silos can be relocated to different areas around the township to encourage visitors to explore the area and see each design.

The town has two larger grain silos that sit off the main road in town, but Mr Sands says while the idea of painting them has been thrown around, the nomadic silos are a point of difference.

“It’s a smaller project that’s affordable and doable, without too much of angst in the town,” he said

“Trying to come up with the right object to be placed on the silo is a big job.”


John Petschack donated two grain silos for the project. This silo was painted by artist Tom Day. (ABC Goulburn Murray: Courtney Howe )

‘It’s going be quite the talking point’

Grain grower John Petschack, whose family has been farming in Dookie for many years, donated two of his old grain bins after being approached by Dookie Arts.

“It’s making Dookie a much more interesting place. It’s making Dookie a more vibrant place,” he said.

“For people driving through Dookie they think ‘wow, there’s something happening in this town’.”

Mr Petschack said many of the older grain bins no longer suited the more modern farm machinery.

“We’d really only use it for emergency storage during harvest these days and we haven’t needed it for that for four years,” he said.

Artists Tom Day and Domenico de Clario were commissioned to paint the silos donated by Mr Petschack.

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Mr de Clairo’s piece is inspired by the poetry of Emily Dickinson and he says he has been warmly welcomed by the community.

“They’re so embracing and so welcoming, and so open minded about the possibilities of what the silos might be,” he said.

Mr de Clairo said this project was a unique take on the silo art trend which had become very popular.

“It’s more approachable, It’s more within our human scale,” he said.


Victorian artist Domenico de Clario says his design is inspired by the poetry of Emily Dickinson. (ABC Goulburn Murray: Courtney Howe )

North-East silo trail grows

The North East Victoria Silo Art Trail maps out silo and mural art across several small Victoria towns, beginning in Benalla and including the Goorambat and Tungamah silos.

The Dookie Nomadic Silos projects hopes to be added to the list.

In the future they would like to create a map of the Dookie moveable silos that visitors can trace the silos’ movement through GPS coordinates.

There are already plans to expand the collection of nomadic silos and Dookie Arts is welcoming more donations of grain bins.

“It’d be nice to get a few farmers on board that would be able to lend their silos, allow us to paint them, and they could keep using them,” Mr Sands said.


The small Victorian town of Dookie has put a twist on the silo art trend. (ABC Goulburn Murray: Courtney Howe )

Mr Petschack said he had heard a few rumours that there might be more grain bins that would be receiving a makeover.

“I think there might be a little bit of a competition starting between people to see who’s got the best mobile nomadic field bin,” he said.