Eudunda silo art underway

Sam Brooks, silo artist (in boom lift); Bob Dabrowski, silo project manager; Debbie Hibbert, Goyder Council elected member; and Judy Partington, silo sub-committee.

Eudunda will soon be home to the 50th silo mural in Australia, with work commencing at the Viterra site in recent weeks.

Adelaide-based artist, Sam Brooks can be seen most days up a boom lift, steadily transforming the twin white pinnacles into a masterpiece worthy of a town proud of its people and rich heritage.

The project has been a couple of years in the making, with former Eudunda Community, Business and Tourism (ECBaT) committee member and now Goyder Councillor, Debbie Hibbert, beginning a campaign to have the silos painted in 2019.

“Initially the idea was as a draw card for tourists to come to Eudunda,” Debbie said. 

“But because we were going though quite a severe drought period, the silo murals would also create a bit of excitement and drag people out of that tough time mentality. It’s something to look forward to for the townspeople.”

After initially having their application for a $150,000 Tackling Tough Times Together grant knocked back, ECBaT and the silo sub-committee were successful with a second application for $60,000.

A further $80,000 has been provided by the Federal Government drought funding and distributed via Goyder Council to complete a viewing area, car parking and signage.

The artwork itself was selected through an inclusive process of community consultation.

“It was very important to us that no one committee or person made the decision, and that’s why we opened it up to the community,” said silo sub-committee member and ECBaT chairman, Judy Partington.

“Everyone has their own preference, but this way, they all had an opportunity to have a say.”

Four short-listed artists had their concept and design put on display locally, with the community and visitors asked to vote for their favourite. 

Of the 260 votes, the overwhelming winner was 27 year old Sam Brooks, with his unique idea to exploit the curved form of the silos to create visual illusion.

“I wanted to used the shape of the silos to enrich the story that it’s telling,” he said.

“Like a lot of people, I grew up idolising Colin Theile, so to me it made sense to make him the poster-boy for what this art would be about… and then from there we jump off into more nuanced pieces of history about the town.”

Silo project manager and ECBaT vice-chairman, Bob Dabrowski said Sam’s design, which hasn’t yet been revealed to the broader public, succeeds in striking a harmonious balance between Eudunda’s indigenous and European heritage.

“Eudunda has just passed 150 years of European settlement, but what we also recognise is there is a broader history in this area than just the Europeans,” he said.

While having worked as a professional artist for more than seven years and been responsible for other large scale murals, the Eudunda project is Sam’s first silo.

“It’s significant in so many ways,” he said. 

“The number one thing for me is a town getting their silo painted, and understanding what that can do for the future of the town and the economy.”

 Sam will spend at least another four weeks on-site, weather permitting, finishing the artwork, with the sub-committee hoping to host a grand opening in the near future.

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