Kaniva Silo Art Kaniva is the gateway to the Wimmera Mallee Silo Art Trail. The Kaniva GrainCorp Silos can be found near the Band Park in Progress St. The Band Park is a popular picnic spot with enclosed children's play area, next to the war memorial. From there, visitors can follow the sheep art trailto the main street and the Wetlands and Fauna Park.The GrainCorp Silos are best photographed before 11am and after late afternoon. The site is still accessed by trucks at harvest time, along with emergency vehicles, so please ensure you take care. Off street parking is available in Progress St, alongside the Band Park and in the car park on Progress St and Baker St. The site includes basic public toilets.
The artwork pays tribute to the nearbyLittle Desert and its diverse flora and fauna. The Little Desert derives its name from the mostly sandy soils that are unsuitable for farming (and the fact that it is ‘little’ compared with the Big Desert to the north of Kaniva). The Little Desert National Park is one of Victoria’s truly special places. It is home to more than 600 species of native plants, 220 species of birds and 60 native mammals and reptiles.
The Artwork The design features the Australian Hobby bird. Smaller than other falcons, it is one of six Australian members of the family ‘Falconidae’. The Australian Hobby is relatively slender and long-winged. It is often seen hunting in vegetated urban areas, as well as in almost any lightly timbered country. To the left of the bird is the plains sun orchid (Thelymitra megacalyptra) with the salmon/pink sun orchid (Thelymitra rubra) on the right. Flowering occurs between September and November, and they generally only open on warm, humid days.
The Artist David Lee Pereira is a Melbourne-based studio and mural artist. He was assisted by fellow artist and friend Jason Parker. Local photographer Cindy McDonald provided the reference images David chose for the silo. “We painted for over 200 hours straight, through the elements and the cockatoo attacks and rain, painting with 400 litres of paint to create this tribute to the Little Desert and endemic flora and fauna of the West Wimmera,” said David. The Kaniva GrainCorp Silo was completed in October 2020. David also painted the GrainCorp Silos in Merriwa NSW.
Kaniva Grain Silos Before the advent of silos, bagged wheat was loaded directly into rail wagons. When wagons were unable to keep up with grain production, bags were stacked and stored in the railway yards, but there were large losses of grain due to wet weather, rodents and insect infestation. The losses prompted a silo building program along existing railway lines. In 1934 legislation authorised the establishment of the Victorian Grain Elevators Board, now known as GrainCorp. The Kaniva Silo is known as a Geelong Concrete Silo and stands 29.6mt high. Overall 91 silos were built in Victoria between 1935 and 1950 using this design. These units are open-topped bins with corrugated galvanised iron roofs. Receiving and out-loading rates are a nominal 110 tonnes per hour. Construction on the Kaniva silo began in January 1939 and it was completed in November that same year. It had a capacity of taking 2,950 tonnes and received 4,979 tonnes of wheat in the 1939-40 harvest. The silo was in use until 2014. The GrainCorp Receival Centre is now located at Lillimur which has the capacity to handle 120,000 tonnes.
TheGoroke Silo located in Railway Street features local bird life including the magpie, kookaburra and galah. The painting by Geoffrey Carran includes incredible detail including smaller paintings within the larger design.
The Serviceton Silo is also due to be painted sometime before October 2022.
Listen to the Story Towns Silo Art Trail podcasts here.