In recent years, many regional towns have looked to use the large concrete grain silos that often mark the centre of these farming communities as an opportunity to tell the stories of their community through art.
With Christmas 2020 done and dusted we were eager to get out and explore Regional Victoria.We needed to travel to Bendigo to see relatives, so we opted to add the recently completed Colbinabbin Silo Art to our route, and I am glad we did…
Having traveled past the Waranga Basin and through the small town of Rushworth, we arrive in Colbinabbin – home of the ‘Hoppers football netball club, a local watering hole the ‘Colbinabbin Country Hotel’, a general store and a population of roughly 300 people.
Christmas decorations adorn local businesses and homes spreading festive cheer to this small community and its visitors. As we meander along the main street, the silos loom on our right hand side and the painted images instantly catch our eye. We turn off the main street and are immediately captivated by the impressive artwork that looms ahead of us.
Artist Tim Bowtell is well known in these parts – his artwork adorns silos and walls throughout North East Victoria. Tim was commissioned by the project team to bring to life their vision. Each of the silos depicts life and events in the Colbinabbin district. These include a farmers picnic on the hill, the train & railway station transporting grain & fertiliser to & from the silo, Lulu the fire truck which also encompasses the channel & children walking to the recreation reserve to play sport, and the tractor pull which was a huge event during the 1980s with over 22000 people attending.
I’ve traveled through ‘Colbo’ often and today is the busiest I have seen in a long while. The car park has a number of vehicles, including those with camper trailers and boats who have chosen to make a stop here to check out the latest installment of silo art in the region.
We would love to stay for lunch and enjoy some country hospitality at the Colbinabbin Country Hotel, however we needed to keep moving and rendezvous in Bendigo with relatives for a late Christmas lunch. We make a promise to stop for lunch next time we are passing through.
Where: Colbinabbin is a small rural farming community an hours drive from Shepparton, Bendigo and Echuca. It is easily accessible from Melbourne via a 2 hour drive.