Waikerie Silo Art Project

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The beautiful artwork on the Waikerie Silos was recently completed and is a stunning reminder of the importance of a healthy river for a healthy community. The artwork was funded by the South Australian government and sponsored by Nature Foundation SA and the silo owner Viterra.

Nature Foundation SA sponsored the community driven project as a way to highlight the importance of water for the environment in achieving a healthy working river. The finished artwork provides an opportunity for locals and visitors alike to start a conversation about what a healthy river is and what that means for the community and natural habitat. Simply put water for the environment is water that is managed to improve or maintain the health of rivers and wetlands – including the plants and animals that depend on them.

Through an agreement with the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder and working with local farmers, irrigators and community groups, our Water For Nature program has already delivered more than 12,000 megalitres to 90 different locations and coordinated watering across 17 complexes in the Murray Valley covering up to 26 different vegetation communities in 12 habitat types.

The Waikerie silos were the fifth to be completed in South Australia and are 25th in the Australian Silo Art Trail Collection. They are the first to be painted on both sides, providing both a land view and a river view.

Two exceptional world-class artists were chosen for the project, Jimmy Dvate from Melbourne and Garry Duncan from Kanmantoo.

DVatephoto.pngFeaturing on Jimmy’s silo is local native flora and fauna, including a giant Yabby and the endangered Regent Parrot. Jimmy has also included other endangered species like the Murray Hardyhead and the Spiny Daisy.

gdmugshotbb1.jpgOn Garry’s silo is a giant, semi-abstract river landscape and many quirky, local, native river creatures including birds, frogs, fish and turtles. Garry has also featured the Rainmoth, which is where the town of Waikerie gets its name.

The name ‘Waikerie’ is said to mean ‘many wings’, after the giant swift moth ‘Wei kari’, the name given to the moth by the indigenous first peoples of the area.

How was this all made possible? From little things, big things grow! The project would not have been possible without local woman Liz Frankel and her tireless Waikerie Silo Art working group, the South Australian Department of Premier and Cabinet for grant funding. We also thank artists Jimmy Dvate and Garry Duncan, for their time, skills, wonderful creativity and passion for ‘Healthy River Healthy Community’.

The silos were officially launched by Minister Tim Whetstone at a public event on Friday 17 May, attended by over 200 people. A beautiful film has been produced about the creation of the Waikerie Silo Art and features interviews with the artists - Please visit our page on Facebook to view.  

Next time you pass through the Riverland don’t miss seeing the Waikerie silos!