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Silo Variations

The old grain silo at Tinning St. in Brunswick has stood abandoned for decades; when did grain cars last travel along the railway tracks? The raw concrete stands bare except for some graffiti at the base of the two towers – graffiti decorates the ugly ruins of the modern world. The silo is a relic from another era of industrial Brunswick, a sore thumb landmark beside the Upfield train line. I don’t know what should be done with it – what do you think?

What should be done with the silo is the subject for the current exhibition at Tinning Street Presents… 20 artists presenting their ideas for a new image for the silo. All of the artists worked on the same photograph of the silos. There were the street artists like Snot Rag and Nick Ilton but I didn’t recognize most of the artist’s names. 20% of the exhibition is good, 20% is crap and the other 60% is ordinary work from the artists. There are the artists who gave up on the project or didn’t have any good ideas like Louise Klerks or Stuart Beckmeyer’s collages. There was some good work by Liam Barton and an over-the-top fantasy Lovecraft-inspired creation by Otis Chamberlain. Lincoln Walker’s design to turn the grey silos into an elephant was appealing. There were also two pads of images of the silos with sharpies to draw your submission, to be made into a book by Aaron Maxwell.

But the opening night was not just about the art; after all 20 average images riffing on an image of a grain silo are not a big attraction. There were musical performance and a bar with gold coin donation for drinks. Above the bar there was a big stretched canvas with the beer sponsor’s logo on it – but they aren’t sponsoring me so I won’t mention their name.

When I arrived Oliver Hunter as 0+0 was vocalizing into a Boss digital echo unit and looping unit. Over 500 people said that they would be attending the event on the Facebook event page. Not that the Tinning Street gallery could fit that many people – they were spilling out into the graffiti decorated laneway. I didn’t hang around for the projections on the silo by Projector bike but I did photograph the bike.

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About Mark Holsworth

Writer, independent researcher and artist, Mark Holsworth is the author of the book Sculptures of Melbourne. View all posts by Mark Holsworth

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