Valley Gallery

Painting to begin next month on Rochester silo

By Alana Christensen

Flora and fauna is set to be the theme of the Rochester GrainCorp silo, as the town prepares to join northern Victoria’s expanding silo art trail when painting gets under way next month.

Artist Jimmy DVate, who also painted the Goorambat silos in March, was in the town refining his artwork last week and was tightlipped about exactly what locals could expect to see.

Determined not to give too much away, he said the artwork that would appear on the GrainCorp silo had been determined and was in the stages of being refined.

With painting expected to begin within the next two weeks, DVate said he was allowing himself one month to complete the artwork, allowing for poor weather and the opportunity to spend more time in town.

DVate said he was looking forward to the opportunity to tackle his second piece of silo art.

‘‘I’ve got a lot more confidence and learnt a lot more (after painting Goorambat) so hopefully it will be a bit of a smoother process,’’ he said.

After suffering from a fear of heights prior to painting the Goorambat silo, DVate said he believed he’d overcome that fear after spending weeks in a cherrypicker and definitely had his ‘‘sea legs’’ ahead of the painting of the Rochester silo.

Spearheaded by the Rochester Business Network (RBN), the town will become the fourth northern Victorian town to transform its silos following the completion of silo art in Tungamah, Goorambat and Devenish.

RBN member Kate Taylor said the community hoped the artwork would help the town to capitalise on traffic that passed through the small town on its way to Echuca.

‘‘The town is really excited, they’ve been really positive about the news,’’ she said.

‘‘We’ve had our fair share of knocks. You’ve got the Murray Goulburn factory closing and then it’s almost like, ‘ooh, let’s throw in a drought, now let’s throw in a flood’.

‘‘But the help just turns up. People really do get behind stuff in this town and everyone’s been very supportive.’’

With fundraising to paint the silos now under way, Ms Taylor said the group had been overwhelmed by the support, both big and small, from locals and surrounds.

Rochester local Robert McCormick said he was pleased to hear the news and hoped the artwork was ‘‘eye-catching’’.

‘‘The town needs a boost, so it should be good ... I’m sure they’ll come up with some good ideas,’’ he said.

‘‘Hopefully it will take off.’’

An online fundraising campaign has already raised $7159 of the $30000 goal, with many also pledging support to help clean up the site ahead of painting.

■To donate to the crowdfunding campaign visit: communities.bendigobank.com.au/projects/rochestersilos