Weekend Art Lovers Escape
Just a three-and-a-half-hour drive from Melbourne, and one hour further from Adelaide, Horsham is the perfect weekend getaway — especially if you love art. And, while the Wimmera Mallee region might be famous for its silos, there is plenty of other art to uncover.
In this weekend itinerary, you’ll be immersed in everything from WWII architecture to photography exhibitions and modern art displays. And — of course — a few silos along the way.
Day 1 of your Weekend Art Lovers Escape
Breakfast in a Horsham cafe
If you leave Melbourne bright and early you’ll be here just in time for a late breakfast or brunch. And trust us, you won’t be short of options. Try the Cheeky Fox or Cafe Jas for some traditional brunch food and delicious coffee.
Horsham Silo Art
Located at the intersection of Hazel Street and Wawunna Road, this towering and impressive silo art was created by Sam Bates aka Smug. It’s one of the newest additions to the Silo Art Trail, being completed in May 2022.
Like many of the silos along the trail, the artist has drawn their inspiration from the history of the area, celebrating local legends. Titled ‘The Yangga Dyata’ which means ‘Walking on Country’, Horsham’s silo art celebrates the incredible life of Yanggendyinanyuk, who was born in 1834.
- Yanggendyinanyuk — whose name means ‘His Walking Feet’ in the Wergaia People’s language — was part of the first Indigenous cricket tour to England. But he was more than just an impressive sportsman;
- Yanggendyinanyuk had extraordinary tracking skills which he put to the best use possible, helping to find the Cooper-Duff children. This impressive feat endures 150 years later, immortalised in the ‘Lost in the Bush’ story.
- Yanggendyinanyuk’s totem was a black cockatoo, which can be seen depicted in all its giant, feathered glory on a neighbouring flour mill.
Murtoa Stick Shed
You’d be forgiven for wondering why an emergency grain store built during World War Two has made its way onto an itinerary for art lovers. Well, once you see it you’ll soon know why.
Previously known as the Murtoa No. 1 Grain Store, The Stick Shed is a master stroke of engineering that needs to be seen to be believed. Often referred to as the ‘Cathedral of the Wimmera’, the giant structure is made from hundreds of timber poles. The effect is dramatic and ghostly, especially when the sun hits and filters through the stained glass skylight above.
Framing The Wimmera
Is there any art more beautiful than that created by nature itself? Framing the Wimmera celebrates nature in all its splendour, with the positioning of four giant timber frames located across the region. The frames capture the iconic vistas within the Wimmera.
The Wimmera River view is just a 10-minute drive from the centre of Horsham, but you’ll feel like you’re in another world as you take in the serenity. If you have time, why not explore the others? The Grampians View, Mount Arapiles View and Toolondo Reservoir View are all just 30 minutes away.
Sheep Hills Silo Art
A 45-minute drive from the centre of Horsham and you’ll discover the second silo art of your Art Lovers Weekend Escape. Melbourne-based artist, Adnate has achieved the seemingly unachievable, creating life-life portraits of a Wergaia Elder named Uncle Ron Marks, alongside a Wotjobaluk Elder, Aunty Regina Hood. Their towering portraits stand side-by-side with Savannah Marks and Curtly McDonald, two young children.
The Sheep Hills Silo Art is a celebration of the area’s Indigenous history and culture, with the deeply realistic night sky portraying the elements of local dreaming. Through the silo art, Adnate has portrayed not only the young Indigenous people of the Wimmera but their enduring connection with their ancestors.
Overnight stay and dinner in Horsham
Forget whatever preconceptions you might have of a regional town. Horsham will surprise you with its lively and vibrant selection of restaurants and quality hotels. After a long day immersing yourself in the local art scene, you’ll need a good night’s sleep before your final stops tomorrow.
Day 2 of your Weekend Art Lovers Escape
Horsham Regional Art Gallery
After enjoying a hearty breakfast in one of Horsham’s many cafes, it’s time to visit the last stop of your weekend escape — the Horsham Regional Art Gallery.
Even the most discerning art lovers will be blown away by the ever-changing displays and exhibitions on show here. There is also a permanent collection of Australian photography which has been in situ since the 1970s. It’s grown since then and now features a permanent selection of works showcasing the Wimmera, alongside the Mack Jost Collection of paintings and works on paper.
As well as art and exhibitions, the gallery also has a host of shows and performances, so be sure you check out the What’s On section of the website and grab yourself some tickets for anything that’s on whilst you’re in town. In 2022, performances include Amy Shark’s See U Somewhere Australia Tour, Bell Shakespeare’s – The Comedy of Errors, and Into The Mystic – The Songs of Van Morrison.
Art lovers have been spoilt for choice this year (along with every other year) with AIN’T NO BODY, an exhibition by First Nations artist Amrita Hep which explores the commercial idealisation of the black body. Meanwhile, Sidney Nolan’s Wimmera Sketches & Paintings will bring joy to anyone with a love of modernist art.
Thank you for visiting Wimmera Mallee