Art Trail for a Cause

Art Trail for a Cause

Back in June of last year, I wrote a little piece on Silo Art Trails, and how … maybe… we could have our own in the Shire. I’m still very keen on the idea. Perhaps more-so now, than before.

Y’see, I’m a big believer in what an art trail can do for a community, and I also think that it would be the most amazing tribute to all of those people who have volunteered their time, energy and donated the same, with goods and cash, to helping those impacted by the worst bushfires Australia has seen.And we could do it for them.

From Gembrook to Koo Wee Rup, from Officer to Bunyip, we could create one long tribute, that would raise hopes, bring people here to see, and then move on to the fire-affected areas to rejuvenate their economies, and remind us all what it truly is to be Australian. To help each other, in times of adversity.
Image by Elizabeth Hartnell-Young
Image by Elizabeth Hartnell-Young

In fact, Dr. Amelia Green from Griffith University is currently studying “the capacity of Australian silo art to help empower communities, activate places and support tourism.”

Among the list of benefits her study illustrates, are:

  • Establish towns ‘on the map’ and signify that a community ‘lives here’.
  • Start new conversations, not just for size and visual impact of each mural, but also the messages contained within (e.g. consider how the Water Diviner silos by artist Fintan Magee in Barraba invites the question ‘What is Water Divining?’, broader discussions about the community and other stories about traditional ways of life).
  • Invoke relationships to the environment (connections to the land, the sea and local fauna have remained common threads since the first silos in Northam, Western Australia).
  • Encourage face-to-face social interactions amongst the community and tourists around base of the silos, other areas in viewing distance, nearby camping sites etc.
  • Stimulate surrounding public space upgrades (e.g. general beautification, public seating improvements, dedicating viewing infrastructure) in response to increased usage.

You can read her full interview with Australian Silo Art Trail here.

A quick google search reveals plentiful reports from local and regional papers on the economic benefits as well.So how do we get one going? What’s it going to take?

  • Research – already started
  • Networking and connecting with towns where they exist – already started – need more bodies involved
  • Planning – we don’t have silos so much (a couple of water towers) so we’ll need something else – I’ve got ideas – I bet you do, too
  • Money – of course
  • Blood Sweat and Laughter (no tears on this one)

And if – when – we can get it going, and aim it down the road toward East Gippsland… the benefits will multiply.

Let me know what you think in the comments

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