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The small farming town of Brim captured the world's attention in January 2016 after Brisbane artist Guido van Helten painted a giant mural on the town's disused grain silo.
Since then silo art has spread across Australia, and from the first silo art at Brim, a 200-kilometre Silo Art Trail has been established in north-west Victoria.
Now the silo art phenomenon is to be featured on four Australia Post $1 postage stamps recognising the towns, businesses and artists who have created the iconic art in New South Wales, Western Australia, Victoria and Queensland.
Australia Post philatelic manager Michael Zsolt said silo art was a magnificent symbol of the local people, natural environment, history and industries that were at the heart of rural communities.
Brim is where it started
Another stamp shows the first silo art in eastern Australia, which was commissioned in Brim, Victoria as an initiative of artist Guido van Helten, silo owner GrainCorp and local community organisation Brim Active Group.
The 30-metre-tall artwork depicts three men and one woman, wearing hats to shield their faces from the midday sun, and was completed over a three-week period.
The success of the mural as a tourist attraction encouraged the Yarriambiack Shire to commission five additional GrainCorp silo murals, now known as the Wimmera-Mallee Silo Art Trail.
Ravensthorpe depicts local flora and fauna
The stamp depicting Ravensthorpe in Western Australia shows the silo art by artist Amok Island, who was commissioned by FORM agency on behalf of silo owners CBH Group to paint three silos in Ravensthorpe.
Titled Six Stages in Banksia baxteri, the mural depicts local flora and fauna, with each side of the silos showing a different stage in the flowering cycle of the banksia, an endemic species to the area.
Thallon district on display
In Thallon, Queensland, the silo art was by artists Drapl and The Zookeeper.
The postage stamp depicts the four 30-metre-high, 40-metre-wide silos that were painted as part of an initiative between the artists, the Thallon Progress Association and GrainCorp.
Entitled Watering Hole, the mural depicts aspects of Thallon, including the spectacular sunsets, the picturesque Moonie River, a scarred tree acknowledging the community's Indigenous history, and sheep to reference the wool industry.
Weethalle first in NSW
One of the stamps depicts the first silo mural to be created in New South Wales, which can be found in the central-west town of Weethalle.
Inspired by Victoria's silo trail, the Bland Shire Council called for applications from artists Australia-wide to undertake the project.
Heesco Khosnaran was the successful artist selected by the council and community representatives, drawing inspiration for his murals from photographs representing the district's main agricultural activities: shearing and wheat growing.
The inclusion of one of the Weethalle silos on an Australia Post stamp is the latest accolade for the silo art.
Farmer Paul Northey, who has the three silos on his property, said he was delighted with the outcome.
"The local council came to see us about putting artwork on the silos and we jumped at the opportunity," he said.
"We knew we wanted to represent the wool and grain industry without putting local people on the silos because our small community is bigger than one or two people.
"Never in our wildest dreams did we think it was going to finish up like this on a stamp.
"It goes to show no matter where you are, it's amazing what you can achieve if you have a go."
Putting the town on the map
Bland Shire Council Deputy Mayor Jan Wyse has been involved in the silo art mural in Weethalle since the early stages.
"The silo has put the town on the map with the number of people coming by to look and take photographs, making the art as famous as those on silos in Victoria," she said.
"The local cafe has been doing a wonderful trade, and the local restaurant has been particularly busy.
"Given the success, the council is now looking for grants for installations in other areas of the district."
Mr Khosnaran spent nearly three weeks painting the silos.
"I think, especially in public artworks like murals, foremost it should represent the sentiments, the values of the local community as much as possible, interpreted through my style, my vision," he said.
He said being a public artist came with a certain amount of responsibility.
"It's not so much about the artist's ego, it's more about what it would represent, what it would mean for the community around the area," Mr Khosnaran said.
"I would paint it and I would go back to the city, whereas the wall will stay there and it better have good value to the locals, otherwise it wouldn't work."
Mr Khosnaran said he had been surprised by the amount of exposure his artwork had received.
"This is definitely the biggest thing I've ever painted so far," he said
"I was stressing about it a bit and I just wanted to concentrate on getting the job done, not to make mistakes. [I felt that] if I try my best and do a good job, the rest takes care of itself."
The limited edition stamps are available at participating post shops.
The products available with the stamp issue include a first-day cover, stamp pack, minisheet, maxicards, self-adhesive booklets of 10 and a booklet collection.
This article first appeared on www.abc.net.au
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