BREATHTAKING, amazing and unbelievable are just some of the words Brim residents have used to describe a new mural in their town.
International street artist Guido van Helten has painted a 30m by 30m scene on decommissioned GrainCorp silos.
He started on December 14 and finished this week.
The scene depicts Brim residents – three men and one woman.
Brim Active Community Group’s Shane Wardle said the community thought they were pretty lucky to have the mural in their town.
“It looks amazing, everyone is so happy,” he said.
“The standard of work is unbelievable.”
Van Helten, from Brisbane, used a cherrypicker for three weeks to create the mural with spray paint and acrylic house paint.
The artwork has attracted visitors from throughout the country.
“We’ve had people come from Brisbane, Adelaide and Melbourne,” Mr Wardle said.
“And they say they will keep coming.
“It’s been good for the whole area – Wycheproof has benefited, so has Hopetoun, Birchip, Warracknabeal.
“Never in our wildest dreams did we think it would turn out like this.”
Mr Wardle, whose family has farmed in the region since 1894, said it's the biggest thing to ever happen in the town.
He said it was a welcome boost at a time of drought and shrinking population.
“The pub's sold more meals and drinks, and the shop's sold more ice creams," he said.
The artwork has also gained nationwide attention in the media and online.
“We’ve had more than a million views on Facebook and the likes are going up by the minute,” Mr Wardle said.
“It’s overwhelming. We never thought this would happen.”
Mr Wardle said van Helten was a fantastic artist.
“We are honoured to have him paint our silos,” he said.
“It’s something that doesn’t happen every day and it will never happen again.
“We are proud of what he has achieved.”
“Never in our wildest dreams did we think it would turn out like this. It’s something that doesn’t happen every day and it will never happen again.”- Shane Wardle
Brim has since become the envy of other Wimmera towns.
“People have got in contact with me asking who they can talk to to make this happen in their towns,” Mr Wardle said.
The project came to Brim out of the blue.
Van Helten has done similar giant portraits in Ukraine, Norway, Italy, Denmark and Iceland, and he asked street artist management company Juddy Roller to find him silos in Victoria.
Brim Active Community Group put money towards the $10,000 project, along with Yarriambiack Shire and Regional Arts Victoria.
Taubmans and Loop Paints donated the paint and the Brim caravan park and pub provided free accommodation and meals for van Helten.
Yarriambiack Mayor Ray Kingston said the finished mural was breathtaking.
“It doesn’t surprise me that it is getting so much attention, it’s amazing,” he said.
“This is a good thing for the entire Wimmera and Mallee and we are seeing evidence of that already.
“People are coming from far and wide to see it and businesses in the region are reporting new trade.
“And that was basically before it was finished.”
Cr Kingston said the silos would become a must-see attraction in regional Victoria.
“It will be something that tourists will want to tick off their travel list,” he said.
“It’s something lots of people will want to see and people are already making detours or special trips to go and see it.”
Cr Kingston credited the Brim community as the driving force behind the project.
“Without a strong community, this just wouldn’t happen,” he said.
“They are very proud of this and they have expressed a lot of gratitude towards the artist.
“It’s very moving.”
The silos were built in the 1930s.
Mr Wardle said they were never designed to last this long.
“They are still in working order, but due to the larger size of trucks and farms they were decommissioned about three years ago,” he said.
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