Renowned Melbourne-based street, silo and water tower artist Heesco Khosnaran will return to Harden-Murrumburrah later this year to continue his work on the Murrumburrah Flour Mill.
The artist told Region Media he is looking forward to catching up with the South West Slopes locals in a town that felt like home for the six weeks he visited and painted last year.
His canvas will again be the Murrumburrah Flour Mill in the centre of town, one side of which has already benefited from his large-scale creative genius. Heesco battled heat, wind and dust to complete his fifth mural to date, which depicted the district’s wheat farming heritage and the significant role the mill played in that.
When round two is complete on the other side of the Mill it will be the only silo in NSW to be fully wrapped with art.
The project has been a work in progress for Harden-Murrumburrah Arts Council, the Harden-Murrumburrah Historical Society, the silo owners Robin Cooper and Greg Medway and Heesco.
Arts Council president Keith Ward said the owners were keen to feature musicians from the era for this next phase.
“I’ve had a look at the silo art and I’ve yet to see musicians depicted,” he said. “I think we’re potentially the first,” he said.
The artist was also given a brief on the significance that gold played in the early era.
“I think Heesco has captured this wonderfully, combining pictures of our local landscape, gold fossicking and a depiction of campgrounds and the social life that would have been seen during the time,” Mr Ward said.
“Overall we’re very happy. The logistics of painting the mural is going to be fun.”
Due to the high demand for Heesco’s artistic services and recent significant weather events, the project commencement date isn’t yet locked down.
“We haven’t secured a formal date at this stage with Heesco,” Mr Ward said.
“He is currently completing a water silo up north and then we will have to review our calendars, but I can confirm it will be prior to the end of the year.”
Heesco said, despite the ease of the Murrumburrah site, all silo projects were massive undertakings.
“It takes a lot of mental and physical stamina,” he said.
“I’ll have to mentally psyche myself up beforehand to get myself ready so I can do my best once I’m there to paint. But it’ll be done later in the year when the weather is right for painting.”
Harden-Murrumburrah Historical Society secretary/treasurer Lorraine Brown said the mill played a significant role in the region’s “drive” tourism and she believed that it would only grow as the second side of the silo was completed.
“We get so many people coming to look at the mill and Bill the Bastard, this project will only add to the attraction of the region,” Ms Brown said.
“We have had several bus tours over the past couple of months and I can only see this increasing once the second side is completed.”
The imagery for the mural is 100 per cent Australian with the landscape composition of four photographs taken by Keith Ward locally.
The project has been made possible thanks to a grant from the NSW State Government.
Heesco has also painted large-scale works on silos at Grenfell and Weethalle and completed a mural on a large water tower at Lake Cargelligo early this year.