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Trail StartGet directions
Northam Visitor Centre, 2 Grey St, Northam. 90 minutes from Perth
Trail EndGet directions
Albany Visitor Centre, York St, Albany.
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Across four huge silos, Phlegm perched on the extended arm of a boom lift, and using brushes strapped to a long pole, rendered his signature whimsical characters in fantastical transportation devices. HENSE, working simultaneously across an equal number of silos, produced his customary abstract patterns in explosive blocks of fluoro colour.
Meanwhile, the CBH grain trucks arrived and departed, and the site continued with business as usual – except – not quite. It’s not often you see a truckie pausing to lean out of his cab window to take a few photos – which he then says he’ll post on Facebook. But during this art frenzy, this was happening several times a day.
The carefully researched artwork concept tells a story about Merredin, its natural environment in the colours, its diverse community in the artwork’s abstract forms and figures, its landforms and agricultural history in the symbols. This was the artist’s biggest canvas yet, working in beating sun and slicing wind, 135 feet from the ground and around the clock. ‘I have a rational fear of standing in a metal bucket 12 storeys off the ground,’ Kyle said with characteristic understatement when asked whether he had any nerves about the project. But he did it anyway.
One features a local resident, the Western Bearded Dragon (Pomona minor minor), namesake of the nearby Dragon Rocks Nature Reserve. Another local, the Red-tailed phascogale (Phascogale calura), a rare marsupial found only in the Wheatbelt, features in another. Only 10 cm long, this creature can jump an incredible twenty times its own length.
The landscape around Ravensthorpe comes alive every spring with thousands of species of wildflower bursting into colour, so Amok Island decided to focus on native Western Australian flora and fauna for his largest mural to date.
‘Each silo side shows a different stage of the flowering cycle of this species of Banksia: from flower buds, to full bloom, to seedpods developing, drying out and opening’, explains the artist.
The artwork encircles the three silos infinitely; the final silo marks the beginning once again of the first, making a connection with the cycle of the seasons and grain farming processes this area is known for. This species of banksia is only found between Esperance and Albany.
There’s the ruby sea dragon (Phyllopteryx dewysea) on massive silos by The Yok & Sheryo down at the port, and then in the city centre, a variety of murals by local and international artists.
The first wave of this creative takeover began in April 2016 with urban artists from Europe, Tunisia, Australia and the States getting together with local talent to give buildings and alleyways around York Street a makeover as part of FORM’s annual PUBLIC festival of urban art.
Then in 2018, the dynamic duo The Yok & Sheryo took on the CBH Group grain silos, and referenced Albany’s pristine environment and sea-life with one very happy-looking marine creature (and local resident), the ruby sea dragon.
Trails WA supports the seven principles recommended by Leave No Trace Australia for minimising your impacts when using the trails.Learn more
About Public Silo Trail: Northam to Albany
Spanning 1,000 kilometres of unique landscapes, from green hilly pastures to wide, flat salt lake country, vast open plains to awe-inspiring outcrops, the PUBLIC Silo Trail has transformed towering grain silos across regional Western Australia into sites of world class art.
The trail traverses the agricultural towns of Northam, Merredin, Newdegate, Pingrup, Ravensthorpe and Albany, as well as Katanning, where silos, public walls and transformer boxes are adorned in colourful murals. Painted by internationally acclaimed artists and visible from afar and over treetops, the PUBLIC Silo Trail is art that tells a story - about people and place.
This innovative initiative by Perth cultural organisation FORM in partnership with CBH Group, has transformed Western Australia’s regional heartland into an open-air art gallery of epic proportions. See where the journey will take you!
Be trail ready for Public Silo Trail: Northam to Albany
Here is everything you need to know before visiting this trail.
Time / Duration
What To Pack
Group D (Drive trails) required.
What To Pack
Group D (Drive trails)
- Research your trip well in advance. Good preparation is essential as distances in Western Australia are huge and facilities are limited. Visit the website associated with each drive trail for in-depth travel information.
- Carry maps, spare parts, a first aid kit and plenty of food and water to last your journey
- Visit the ‘Travelling in Outback Western Australia’ website for information regarding travelling in the Outback. Permits may need to be arranged in advance to enter into some areas which are on private property.
- Car Park
Best time of year
Any time of year but especially Spring August to November
Drive to Northam, 100km to the east on Great Northam Hwy
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