THEY may be battling a tough crop outlook but the drinks will be flowing strong in Thallon, south of St George, as Queensland’s first silo artwork is officially launched.
Among those who deserve plenty of cold ones are Brisbane artists Joel ‘The Zookeeper’ Fergie and Travis ‘Drapl’ Vinson who plan to sit down with a beer looking out at the silo artwork they have finally completed.
The men have used nothing but an A4 impression to replicate their design featuring images captured by locals of the town’s producers, sheep and the Moonie River.
The giant mural painted on the 300,000 tonne GrainCorp grain receival site was created with about 500 litres of paint and 500 spray cans.
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The pair learnt to paint through graffiti and Mr Fergie said they had moved from letters to subject matter.
“We certainly wouldn’t be doing what we are doing without graffiti, that’s for sure,” he said.
Mr Vinson even quit his job in air conditioning a few years ago to pursue the art.
“We still write our names but we do it legally,” he said.
The pair purposely didn’t change their mobile phone service so they wouldn’t be distracted and established themselves in Thallon life by going to the pub, meeting locals and visiting the attractions they were painting.
Balonne Shire councillor, Robbie Paul, who looks after the Thallon district, said he firmly believed the artwork would put Thallon on the map and was a positive for local growers battling a tough season.
“The last three years we have had a good harvest but this year is looking dry,” he said.
“Last year at any one time we had 320 trucks in one day unload here.
“There is a bit of chickpea and wheat planted now but a lot of country hasn’t even been sown this year.”
Plans for the project began two years ago when the Thallon Progress Association wanted to reinvigorate the small drought-stricken town.
Project manager Leanne Brosnan said sometimes the Thallon landscape lacked colour but the artwork had brought the town back to life.
“The visitors love that it is spectacular and the locals love it because the boys have been able to capture a sense of place,” she said.
“Hopefully it will bring back some of the vitality we lost when we lost the regular rail service (in the late 90s early 2000s).”