Are we over the painted silos?

For those who don’t know, up around where my mum lives they have taken to painting silos and other things in the hope of bringing more people to visit the towns.

I don’t remember when it started, but they have been doing them for a few years now and are continuing to do them. I was so happy they didn’t do the ones in Woomelang. I love photographing them and like them as they are.

It was fun when they first started painting them and I know that they attracted people up there, but I have to wonder if they are going too far now. In some towns, there are paintings everywhere you look. It gets a bit much.

Some of my concerns about them are the surfaces they are painted on and what they will look like in 10, 20 or 50 years’ time. We all know that any painted surface that is outside will crack and peel with age and then need to be repainted. So I have to wonder how they will repaint them.

Plus, I know from some people I have spoken to up there people are annoyed that their local government has all this money to spend on artists to come and paint the silos and other things, but they can’t spend money on the roads. It seems to have become a bit of a practice where a road needs fixing that they simply put a sign saying “Rough Surface, Slow Down”. That is the cheap way of fixing things. The roads are also really bumpy from all the grain trucks driving over them. They don’t need speed cameras because it is really hard to speed. If you try you get bounced all over the place.

In Woomelang they have now added more painted silos. They are the small ones that can be moved around. They painted a wall, then put a shelter thing next to it so you can’t really see the full benefit of it.

It also seems that people are painting things everywhere in the state now. It is like the latest fad.

I would like to see them doing more than that. If they want people to go to the towns, then perhaps find other ways. I don’t know what, but it would be good to see other things as well. See things as the towns are, or were.

Anyway, while I didn’t get out and take many photos while I was there, I did go for a quick walk and got these.

There are more, but I only got these.

What do you think of all the country towns painting objects?


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  1. Artistic expression needs to be fostered and artists need money to live. I love murals. I must agree with the what happens over time bit

    1. I don’t disagree, but when no money is being spent on where it is needed as well, then it is hard to justify it all. When it was just 6 silos, I think people were okay, but now they just keep doing more and more and things like the roads don’t get anything. That is the sad part. Thanks Bushboy.

    2. It is more about distribution of Federal Govt funds that get allocated to many sectors of our community. How about we get our railways going again and get the trucks that do the most damage to our roads off.

    3. Yeah, that is true to some extent, the federal gov does fund some roads, and so does the state, but it depends on the road and how important it is. Unless it is a highway then it is up to the locals to pay for it. I wholeheartedly agree about the rail network. Trains go through my mum’s town all the time, but no passenger trains. If you want to travel to Melbourne you have to catch a bus at midnight. It is ridiculous. There is a massive break at Ballarat and then they arrive some time in the morning. I takes twice as long as a car. Disabled people can’t use the bus, so it seems unfair. The train lines are there, use them.

    1. Oh the snake is the one painted on the wall. It is hard to get a good photo because after it was built they put up the shelter in front of it. Don’t understand the logic. My mum is with you, she doesn’t like the snake either.

  2. I never thought about what they will look in the years to come given that paint chips, fades, etc. In my town in the US there is a bite of this. Two stone walls have been painted and underneath a bridge but that’s about it. I think your painted silos are beautiful. Now.

    1. Thank you Lena, they are beautiful. I don’t like all of them, but yeah, what happens to them in the future is a worry. Especially the really big ones that are painted on the rough cement silos.

  3. I can’t use the Like button for some reason, not your site’s fault. I think they look very nice, Leanne, but I agree. They will need paint again, who’s going to pay for it? Your local government body shouldn’t be paying for this.

    1. It might be my sites fault, you never really know. Are you logged into WordPress, sometimes that can matter. They will definitely need that, or they will end up being an eye sore perhaps. The local guys pay for it because they hope it will boost tourism, but so many other local councils doing the same, it is hard to see if it works. Thank you John.

  4. I love street art and murals and think they very much improve the urban landscape. That said, I am not sure how I would feel about too many of them being in a much more rural context. Public art in urban spaces breaks up the monotony of all the grey, the concrete, and infrastructure. It does not serve that purpose in rural settings. I can see the merits of the financial argument but I also think that it a tried and true method by which financial backing is withdrawn and diverted away from the arts more broadly, including from the education system.

    1. Don’t get me wrong, I love them too, but not everywhere. I agree about them in urban spaces Laura, they can be a wonderful for the reasons you said. I agree to a certain extent about the financial backing, but when I hear my mum constantly complain about how they won’t spend money on roads, or other things around her, you have to wonder if the money is being spent wisely. Surely they can do both, would be my thoughts. Perhaps less art and a little more to make the road safer. Thank you Laura.

    2. Totally agree. It is all about balance. I live in an area notorious for its terrible road surfaces so that is an issue near and dear to me. I just think the money for roads would easily be found in the budget diverted away from something with less impact than art funding. There is so much inefficiency and waste in all layers of government.

    3. There is so much waste, our last federal gov was a testament to that. They were spending our money on things they shouldn’t have, like land for an airport, they paid something like 30 million for it, and it was worth 3. Dodgy stuff. I don’t object to spending money on the art, but how much art do they need. Also, from what I can gather they aren’t local artists, they are artists that are getting lots of work and getting paid lots of money already. There needs to be a balance.

    4. It absolutely should be about supporting local artists, perhaps community art projects. You also mentioned that the silo paintings don’t last long which makes them a questionable investment. There definitely needs to be a balance. They should also be consulting the community and asking whether this is something they want and appreciate.

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