One of my favourite Aussie issues of recent times was 2017’s Street Art – vibrant, modern, urban and startlingly different from the usual stamp fodder. Not surprisingly, those stunning works were a big hit on my Instagram page. They’re very like-able.
I’m a month late with this update but I still wanted to say how much I loved seeing Australia Post continue the theme with May’s Silo Art issue. Silo art is the rural equivalent of street art, except that it’s painted on grain silos, and it is, as a rule, fucking ENORMOUS.
Painted silos have sprung up all over Australia in recent years, often depicting local characters, flora and fauna, or scenes of rural life. In some places, you can follow a Silo Art Trail through the countryside, bringing some small relief to many of the drought-depressed local communities. It perhaps says something of the impact of these works that this issue has been released at all, when the first silo was painted only in 2015.
It’s actually ludicrous to see silo art crammed into the tiny square centimetrage of an ordinary-sized postage stamp. These works are so gigantic, their size can only truly be appreciated up close. For a sense of scale, look for the person standing in the foreground of the Ravensthorpe stamp:
The accompanying miniature sheet does a pretty good job of communicating the sheer size of these works. Bit of a shame that Aussie Post didn’t feature these works on the larger-size stamps that they use occasionally to commemorate giant sharks and more traditional artworks.
If you’re an aficionado of public art, and these issues have you booking your ticket to Australia, you can at least be assured that the silo art has one advantage over its street cousins: at least one, if not more, of the works featured in the Street Art stamp issue have now been painted over, in keeping with the street art ethos. Good luck painting over any of these in a hurry. They’ll wait for you.
Australia Post’s Collectables page gives an excellent background to each of the works depicted in these stamps. If you want to see more silo artwork, a Google image search for for ‘silo art’ won’t disappoint. (Yep, I’m here to offer highly specialised advice like that. Hope I don’t lose you with my technical computery talk.) There are a few Facebook fan pages out there to be found too, with regular updates.
Side note: one of my favourite bits of this issue is the sight of the dark grey storm clouds brewing over the silos at Brim. Those rains’ll be good for the crops.