Great Vic Bike Ride
Australia’s largest outdoor gallery
Conceived in 2016, the Silo Art Trail stretches over 200 kilometres across the Wimmera Mallee in Western Victoria. What started as a small community project has attracted renowned artists from across Australia and the world to transform blank-canvas art silos into spectacular works of art.
And we’re visiting two pieces of this massive outdoor gallery on the Great Vic Bike Ride 2021!
WESTERN ROUTE →
(Warm up ride)
GREAT VIC 2021
The ones we're visiting
Brim, Guido van Helton
It all started in Brim. Artist Guido Van Helten’s Brim art silo mural was the first work of its kind in the area, kicking off the Wimmera Mallee region trend, and gaining widespread international attention.
The artwork is brilliantly described on the trail website as depicting “an anonymous, multi-generational quartet of female and male farmers. Rendered across these four 1939-built GrainCorp silos, van Helten’s subjects bear expressions that exemplify the strength and resilience of the local farming community.”
“By rendering the figures as both central and peripheral, present and absent, the work explores shifting notions of community identity at a time when rural populations face both immense economic pressure and the tangible consequences of climate change.”
Riders on this year’s Great Vic will have the pleasure of cruising past this iconic landmark on their way into town on their first official day of riding – a glorious 58km pedal from Rainbow to Brim.
We can’t think of a better backdrop to settle into a week of riding and camping with our own Great Vic community.
Sheep Hills, Adnate
Melbourne-based artist Adnate’s Sheep Hills mural celebrates the rich Indegenous culture of the region, telling the story of Aboriginal Australians and highlighting the strong ancestral connection with their land and their Elders.
Adnate forged a close relationship with the Barengi Gadjin Land Council in north-west Victoria, who inspired this awe-inspiring artwork.
The mural depicts Wergaia Elder, Uncle Ron Marks, and Wotjobaluk Elder, Aunty Regina Hood, alongside two young children, Savannah Marks and Curtly McDonald.
The Silo Art Trail website explains how “the night sky represents elements of local dreaming and the overall image signifies the important exchange of wisdom, knowledge and customs from Elders to the next generation.”
It is in the shadows of this powerful and emotive work of art, thousands of Great Vic riders will settle throughout the day to enjoy their lunch, halfway through their 109 kilometre journey from Brim to Horsham.
DAY 1 – OPTIONAL WARM UP
Albacutya, Kitt Bennett
Though not an official ride day, after you arrive in Rainbow for the start of the Great Vic Bike Ride 2021, there is the option for a quick warm-up ride to visit the newest silo art mural at Albacutya.
This quirky, colourful, modern take on silo art is just 10 kilometres north of our start site in, and was created by Melbourne artist Kitt Bennett. The artist was inspired by her fond memories of growing up exploring the weird and wonderful bush with her parents.
“I wanted to make this painting very bright and full of colour in an attempt to reflect the rainbow theme and to separate it from its environment. The Silo itself is old but the artwork aims to breathe a new life into the landscape.”
“There are tails of huge yabbies pulled from the lake in Albacutya when it was full. This is my take on these stories, while still leaving the narrative open to interpretation. I wanted to keep the artwork somewhat surreal and distorted from reality. Much like the nature of stories from the past. They often become exaggerated.”
Note: This is not a supported ride on the event, but a great opportunity to warm the legs before you get started, and tick another silo off the bucket list!
THE ART SILOS
How do they paint them?
Like many great works of art, you can’t look upon any of these sensational silos without wondering “how on Earth did someone create this?“
Luckily for all of us, notorious large-scale mural artist Rone (who painted the Lascelles silo) created a 10-minute YouTube tutorial explaining his method, known within the industry as the Rone Overlay Method.
One thing’s for sure, beyond a paintbrush and remarkable artistic talent, these artists also come equipped with a stomach for heights and mind for functional mathematics to calculate the scale and proportion.