There's nothing like a lick of paint to make things interesting.
So says artist Geoffrey Carran, as he begins work on a 900-square metre artwork to help Goroke join the Silo Art Trail.
On Thursday, his second day at the site, Mr Carran spoke to the Mail-Times while delayed by rain and hail.
"You can't paint in it, and you have to keep a real close eye on it, because you have to have paint drying time," he said.
"We are only getting the site secure and cleaning up at the moment, ready for drafting.
"The project needs to be wrapped up by the end of October, and really we will be picking out times to paint around the weather forecast."
The art trail currently comprises of nine enormous murals painted on grain silos across western Victoria since 2015.
THE OTHER MURALS
While the other murals cover one side of their silos, the Goroke artwork will be unique, covering parts of three silos which are bordered by two perpendicular roads.
"It means you've got multiple viewpoints, and as you drive past them what you see will change," Mr Carran said.
Mr Carran, originally from New Zealand, was meant to start painting in March or April, before coronavirus restrictions put the plans for Goroke and other Wimmera silos on hold.
"One of the benefits of the extra time is we got to have some good community consultation with the locals in Goroke," he said. "I gave them a range of ideas to choose and we narrowed it down from there, so it's been a collaboration, and before we proceeded we made sure they were all happy to identify with it.
"My specialist subject matter is Australian birdlife, and 'Goroke' is the local (Aboriginal) language word for 'Magpie', so obviously it has to feature a magpie strongly.
"That's on one of the silos, and on another is a Kookaburra, and they are resting on old droppers and having a conversation. The background will be the expansive cropping areas and big skies you see around Goroke.
"We've gone for a summer palate, where the landscape is turning brown but the sky is vibrant blue, which is going to make those birds really 'pop'."
Mr Carran lives at Jan Juc, on Victoria's surf coast, and his staying with his wife's mother Jenny between Apsley and Langkoop while painting the silos. His wife, Rowena Martinich, is also an accomplished artist.
The couple work collaboratively, most recently on a mural in Balmoral, also in western Victoria.
Though he has painted street art in New York, London and Istanbul, Turkey in his career, Mr Carran has never painted on this scale before. He will use a 65-foot knuckle boom to access the 16-metre high silos.
"My real passion is for painting in regional Australia," he said. "Having large vibrant artworks in public spaces can change people's relationship with that space.
"Regional towns have so much personality and history, and often an art project is a flashpoint for community involvement and change making.
"You can't discount the merits of cultural tourism as well. People are travelling around regional Australia more and more, and having places to go and check out helps draw people into these communities."
David Leahy, chief executive of West Wimmera Shire Council, which is delivering the project, said it was fantastic to see painting now getting underway.
"This is something the community has been waiting for and we are delighted to see it come to fruition," he said.
Mr Leahy said tourism contributed almost $8.5 million towards West Wimmera Shire's economy, and the silo artworks would be an important addition.
"Extending silo art installations into West Wimmera is a significant opportunity for us and it will add to the growing list of attractions that tourists can visit here in the shire," he said.
A second silo project at the GrainCorp silos at Kaniva, 40 minutes north, is also due to start in coming weeks.
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