On a quest to find new silo art in South Australia I’ve managed to track down two more outstanding examples of this grand scale art.
The first is in the town of Farrell Flat, a little under 150 kilometres north of Adelaide in the Clare Valley region. The brilliantly coloured mural was completed in November 2020 and depicts the last train to pass through the town.
These 30 metre silos were painted by artists Jarrod Soden and Matthew Knights, both from Adelaide, and took 140 hours to complete.
Today Farrell Flat has a population of less than 300 people but as with other painted silos, travellers are being drawn to the town to see the silos and an offshoot of that is it makes people take some time to see what else the town has to offer.
There are a number of historic buildings still standing in Farrell Flat and a map under a shelter in Patterson Terrace informs you of what businesses the buildings once housed. The town’s hotel built in 1871 is still open as well as a memorial hall and other historic building you can still see are the railway station, the original fruit and vegetable store, general store, post office and telephone exchange. Other nearby buildings were the blacksmith shop, saddler, motor garage and bakers shop.
The Fitzpatrick Fruiterer’s shop (not a word we use today) was believed to have been built around 1915 and sisters, Miss Mary and Miss Suzie Fitzpatrick sold vegetables, ice creams, mineral waters and Woodroofe’s cool drinks from the shop. They received fresh goods from the Adelaide East End markets by train three times a week and goods were delivered to nearby farms with a horse drawn sulky which was kept behind the shop. Farrell Flat also has a free camp to use.
The next silo and newest addition in South Australia, can be found in the town of Eudunda, around 65 kilometres south of Farrell Flat or a little over 100 kilometres north of Adelaide. These silos were easy to see as you drove into town but took some winding around roads (a couple of times) to locate where to park near them. If you go looking for them, look for the off street parking on Railway Parade where you can stop and then take a short walk to the actual silos.
These storytime silos were painted by Sam Brooks and are a tribute to famed South Australian author Colin Thiele and the original Ngadjuri people of the area. The artist in painting these 30 metre silos wanted to include local history and sharing of cultures with two children using books to teach each other about their history, culture and connections to the area.
The first story ‘Sun on the Stubble’ was written by local author Colin Thiele about the hardships of farming communities in this rural area and shows cattle, sheepdogs, riders on horseback and a dust storm.
The second silo show a Ngadjuri child inviting the other child to come and learn about his culture, represented with a story book, stars and galaxies. The idea to use children was to show how children are non-judgmental and playfully learn from each other.
Woven across both silos is a piece of red string which symbolizes a storytelling element and clipped along the string are historical images of the area which represent the passage of time and another way of invitation for the children to discover each other’s perspectives.
In the artist’s words: ‘My aim for this painting is to invoke feelings of playfulness, open mindedness and a joyful, child-like conversation about history and culture. It gave me a chance to visually represent the wonder of sharing knowledge between cultures – and the joy that can come from immersing yourself in the world of books’.
Wonderful words and images painted by Sam Brooks. These silos were only completed a little over a month ago and it looks as though a viewing area is still under construction.