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WA wildlife celebrated on CBH Group silos in Newdegate


Native Western Australian wildlife has taken centre stage in sky-high silo art for the latest PUBLIC Silo Trail mural at Newdegate in the Wheatbelt.

Perth muralist Brenton See translated the region’s western bearded lizard, mallee fowl, thigh spotted tree frog and red-tailed phascogale to canvas in four towering murals on the Newdegate CBH Group silos over 13 days this month. 

See’s artwork is the fifth mural in FORM and CBH Group's PUBLIC Silo Trail and joins artworks spanning the state by local street artists Amok Island and Kyle Hughes-Odgers and internationals Phlegm, HENSE, and Yok & Sheryo.

FORM’s Executive Director Lynda Dorrington said the latest destination on FORM’s PUBLIC Silo Trail was highly site specific to Newdegate and featured an emblematic depiction of the region through its native animals.

“One mural features a local resident, the western bearded dragon (Pomona minor minor), namesake of the nearby Dragon Rocks Nature Reserve, home to many species of plant and mammals,” Ms Dorrington said. “Another local, a Wheatbelt marsupial, features in the next mural. The red-tailed phascogale (Phascogale calura) is only 10 cm long, yet can jump an incredible twenty times its own length.”

“On the neighbouring panel, Brenton has painted the profile of a mallee fowl (Leipoa ocellata), the bird symbol of the Wheatbelt and a regular of the Newdegate area. Behind the fowl is a salmon gum (Eucalyptus salmonophloia),” Ms Dorrington said.

The final mural in the series is an emblematic depiction of the region. It features a droplet shaped form, half-white, half-teal. The white and teal droplet represents both the rain; essential to growth: and the surrounding lake systems which support many insects and animals at different times of the year. In the background are coloured squares illustrating the land, and how it appears from above: green for the green bushland areas and brown, orange and red for the red dirt and rocky areas.

The nature loving artist, who says if he weren’t an artist he’d be a park ranger, has had a lifelong love of birds.

“My passion from birds came from travelling between Perth and Busselton when I was younger and going from the city to the bush landscape and being around the birds,” See said.

“I think my oldest memory is sitting in my grandma's large budgerigar aviary for hours every day whenever we visited.”

Over the past three years the PUBLIC Silo Trail has created a massive outdoor gallery from the towering architecture of farming communities across Western Australia’s Wheatbelt and Great Southern regions. It has put country towns on the cultural map, bringing world-class murals to CBH Group grain silos, public walls and Western Power transformer boxes across the state.

As part of the PUBLIC Silo Trail, social documentary project Homegrown Stories has been cataloguing the personal narratives and remarkable histories of the men and women growers, regional workers and local community champions in each of the towns on the trail. These stories will be presented on completion of the trail, shining a light on the people who make these regional towns what they are.