Valley Gallery

Rochester silo works continue

By Alana Christensen

A squirrel glider will soon look over the streets of Rochester as Melbourne artist Jimmy DVate begins work on the town’s cement GrainCorp silo.

Having completed work on the metal silo — which depicts an azure kingfisher and the town’s iconic red bridge — at the weekend, DVate said he was thrilled to start work on the towering possum.

Seeking inspiration from the region around him, he said the Campaspe River was a constant source of inspiration for his artwork and he had even been given some advice from the locals.

‘‘Originally it was just going to be a normal scene (on the metal silo) but then (project co-ordinator) Cate (Ward) and the locals said I should try and get the red bridge on there because it’s quite iconic around the area,’’ he said.

With everyone from school kids and truck drivers stopping by, DVate said the support for the artwork had been immense.

‘‘And it hasn’t just been locals, there’s been a lot of people on their way to somewhere else.

‘‘That’s one thing that’s been incredible, it’s so community driven.’’

‘‘It’s been amazing,’’ Ms Ward added.

‘‘Just the amount of people that have stopped by to see it ... there’s been a real buzz in town, a real electricity.

‘‘There’s been so many people just coming by and standing in awe (of the artwork).’’

As work enters its final stretch, Ms Ward said plans for a community event to officially unveil the silo were beginning to develop, with DVate expected to sign the artwork as part of the event which will also act as a way to thank the local community for its support.

As cold weather sets in, DVate said he was hoping to finish painting the silo in the next week-and-a-half as long as the rain held off.