Siloscopes

  • Client
    Arts OutWest and The Lachlan Health Service Culture and Arts Working Group
  • Discipline
    Public Art
  • Status
    In development
MAPA is currently making a new public artwork in Forbes, NSW. This work is commissioned by Arts OutWest and The Lachlan Health Service Culture and Arts Working Group. We were intrigued by this opportunity create a work from the experience of accompanying a local farmer in their daily life. During our residency with farmer Dan Herbert we learned many things. We had an existing interest in the kinds of tools farmers used to work the land. What we soon realised was the enormous scale of the tools required to work such vast areas of land. Large machines such as harvesters and air-seeders, up to fixed elements such as windmills, silos and pumps and even landforms such as the irrigation channels. The silos in particular were of great interest to us. Visually they are iconic elements in the landscape, but for farmers they are crucial, everyday equipment. They are connected to many elements of farm life. Storing seeds for the next planting, storing grain from harvest, storing feed for livestock. They are used differently throughout the seasons and the cycles of farming. We also experienced the absolute connection of farmers to the weather and the elements. We arrived after a good patch of rain which was turning many paddocks green. When Dan would speak to his neighbours they would compare rainfall experienced in the different localities down to the millimetre and the hour. Such attention and connection to rainfall has long been lost in the cities. Of course this attention was required as the rain, along with sun and soil, plays such a crucial part in the growth of crops and pasture. So while the silos store grain for seed and for feed, it can also be said that the grain itself was storing the power of the sky, the sun, the rain as well as the nutrients of the soil. We want to create a work which enables visitors to reflect on these elements of farm life. The work invites people to interact with a humble seed silo in such a way as to transform it from an ordinary piece of equipment into a new kind of device.