Horsham Silo Activation
Yangga Dyata Walking on Country
Horsham’s first silo art mural to feature story of reconciliation and resilience.
ACKNOWLEDGMENT of COUNTRY
The Horsham Rural City Council acknowledges the five Traditional Owner groups of this land; the Wotjobaluk, Jaadwa, Jadawadjali, Wergaia and Jupagulk people. We recognise the important and ongoing place that all Indigenous people hold in our community. We pay our respects to the elders, both past and present, and commit to working together in the spirit of mutual understanding and respect for the benefit of the broader community and future generations.
Horsham’s first silo art mural features a story of reconciliation, resilience and great legacy
The Horsham silo and flourmill site celebrates the little known but locally significant story of Yanggendyinanyuk, a Wotjobaluk warrior’s story of leadership, resilience and great legacy.
The life of Yanggendyinanyuk (His Walking Feet in Wergaia Language) is embedded throughout Wotjobaluk Country (the Wimmera). While he was publically celebrated for his extraordinary tracking skills in finding the Cooper-Duff children and for his part in the first Indigenous cricket tour to England, he also witnessed great loss of Clan and Country.
Sharing the story of Yanggendyinanyuk, signals how this community chooses to see its’ future self through the telling of its past. Importantly, it visually and symbolically places the legacy of a truly remarkable Aboriginal leader that epitomises power, resilience, strength and achievement across redundant agricultural infrastructure.
The project brings new life and focus to the region through a commitment to reconciliation and respect, and as a consequence invite visitors and residents to explore the region’s rich Aboriginal heritage and living culture, led by our region’s first people through a key project partnership with the silo owners, Barengi Gadjin Land Council, West Wimmera Shire Council and the generously shared story by a direct descendant of Yanggendyinanyuk, and his life of Yangga Dyata - Walking on Country.
The Silo Activation Project is supported by the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria’s Creative Activation Fund and Horsham Rural City Council.
What is painted on the silos?
The Horsham site contains two large east facing surfaces. The art work acknowledges and celebrates a little known but locally significant story of Yanggendyinanyuk, a Wotjobaluk warrior who was publically celebrated for his extraordinary tracking skills in finding the Cooper Duff children in 1864 and for his part in the first Indigenous Cricket tour to England. He witnessed great loss of clan and country while he navigated colonial culture working as a mail rider across the Wimmera and a boundary rider at Mt Elgin Station.
Yanggendyinanyuk’s powerful story is one of reconciliation, connection to country, resilience and humility. It has strong roots across several Local Government areas across the Wimmera including the West Wimmera Shire.
Sharing the story of Yanggendyinanyuk, signals how this community chooses to see its’ future self and celebrate its past. Importantly it visually and symbolically places Aboriginal representations of power, strength and achievement over redundant agricultural infrastructure.
The silo is lit up until 10pm nightly. Image: Jumpin Jac Flash Photography
Yanggendyinanyuk's Yangga Dyata - Walking on Country Story
Born in the mid-1830s on Wotjobaluk Country, the life of Yanggendyinanyuk (His Walking Feet in Wergaia Language) was one of both extraordinary achievement and leadership while also experiencing deep loss and grief.
While he has been publically celebrated as part of the first Indigenous Cricket tour to England, and his extraordinary tracking skills in finding the Cooper Duff children, he also witnessed great loss of Clan and Country and survived numerous epidemics and bouts of mental illness.
Having lived as a Warrior and Hunter of great skill, he then worked as a mail rider servicing Stations all across the Wimmera between Horsham and the South Australian border and also as a boundary rider on Mt Elgin station. He was an accomplished player of draughts, cribbage, billiards, boxing and cricket and was a life-long abstainer from alcohol.
In 1886, Yanggendyinanyuk passed away at Ebenezer mission, a proud husband to Eliza Townsend and father of 9 children.
Having been twice denied a grant of land as part of a government scheme aiming to attract European farmers to his country, today Yanggendyinanyuk’s legacy flows through his descendants and the Native Title over the Country he once walked and through the re-emergence of the ancient Wergaia language he once spoke.
When were the works installed?
Stage 1: The installation of the artwork on the Silo and Flourmill began on 27th April 2022 and was finalised by 13th May 2022. The painting occurred during daylight hours seven days per week.
Stage 2: The third artwork on the foreground shed was installed from the 26th April to the 4th May 2023 and serves to visually link Yanggendyinanyuk on the Silo with his totem the Red Tailed Cockatoo on the Flourmill.
Yanggendyinanyuk’s totem – the Red Tailed Black Cockatoo
Who is the Artist - Smug
Council commissioned the street art company Juddy Roller to put forward the names of several artists that would be available to create the work. World renowned street artist 'Smug', also known as Sam Bates, was chosen. While he was here, Sam also mentored a young local indigenous street artist Tanisha Lovett who is a Gunditjmara (Gun-ditch-mara) and Wotjobaluk woman to paint her own artwork at the Soundshell at Sawyer Park, Horsham.
Sam is based in Scotland is in Australia for a short period installing several works across the region. His nearest works is part of the Silo Art Trail at Nullawil, Murtoa and Arkona.
“I was very excited to be asked to paint the silo and work with Aunty Jennifer and BGLC, HRCC and the Plazzer family. I am truly honoured to be chosen to celebrate Yanggendyinanyuk with such a large and prominent mural. I hadn’t painted a full figure for many years so I welcomed the challenge of painting a composition outside of my comfort zone. My hometown is as close to Horsham as you can get in size and similarities, and its name Nowra even translates to “Black Cockatoo”, so I felt incredibly at home throughout the installation of the mural.” SMUG
Smug installing the Black Cockatoo Image
Why were the silos chosen?
The Horsham silos are privately owned and managed. The owners Mario and Frances Plazzer, were supportive of this community project for Horsham and the greater region.
the opportunity of some State Government funding came up to create large public art works to activate public spaces. Council was in a position to support the realisation of this project through project management and development of land use within the railway corridor.
Aunty Jennifer Beer who is a descendent of Yanggendyinanyuk was engaged as Cultural Consultant on the project and worked closely with the artist in the telling of Yanggendyinanyuk’s story.
Aunty Jennifer Beer (TO), the Great Grand Daughter of Yanggendyinanyuk said, “This painting has only just scratched the surface of the history of Yanggendyinanyuk and his life. The mural has blown me away! It’s a legacy my children will get to know, and my grandchildren, as well as our community generations. For myself, I only got to know about him when I was in Grade 3 and I was reading a reader to my grandfather and he told me the story of my ancestors. There are many community families that are tied to the Lost in the Bush and First 11 cricketers, this mural will help the stories to be told.”
Her audio-telling of Yanggenginanyuk’s story can be found HERE
Since 2016, the Silo Art Trail in Wimmera Southern Mallee has become a key destination for independent travellers keen to experience Australia’s largest outdoor gallery. Commissioned murals have extended into shires to the west and southwest, adding to the reach, interest and visitation of the trail.
This project strengthens the silo art in the Wimmera region, maximises Horsham’s location on the Western Highway (A8), supports private investment in activating the Horsham silo precinct, creates night time activity for visitors and develops routes to extend travel experiences and visitation into the west of Victoria.
New cultural tourism opportunities have emerged through links with other Council areas where Yanggendyinanyuk’s story took place including the Jane Duff Memorial and the Johnny Mullagh Cricket Centre in West Wimmera Shire.
How was the community consulted?
Initial consultations in the development of the proposal occurred with Barengi Gadjin Land Council Aboriginal Corporation on the story development, as well as the Mario and Frances Plazzer and family who expressed the intent to have their silo painted.
Development of the image involved:
- Gathering of Yanggendyinanyuk’s story through artist and family conversations
- Targeted engagement with key family stakeholders and business regarding the image development
- There was also engagement with nearby Horsham North residents and regular project updates through Council media channels in the lead up to the project.
Aunty Jennifer Beer who is a descendent of Yanggendyinanyuk was engaged as cultural consultant on the project and worked closely with the artist in the telling of Yanggendyinanyuk’s story.
Several local people posed for the artist to create an interpretation of Yanggendyinanyuk’s image for the silo art work.
How was it funded?
Creative Victoria’s Creative Activation Funding of $99,000 was secured for the artwork with a co-contribution by Council. Mario and Frances Plazzer and family who own the silo/flourmill site also added significant co-contribution to the immediate maintenance works on the structure.
How has the project supported visitation and tourism?
Horsham's new Silo Activation Project has been incorporated into the ongoing 'Grampians Way' and general Grampians Tourism platforms to attract visitors to the region.
The art work image on Horsham’s silo features Aboriginal Warrior Yanggendyinanyuk’s story and connects thematic sites across Wotjobaluk Country and LGAs through linked branding, digital access to information, interpretive signage and wayfinding. This has drawn visitation into the adjacent Councils while also connecting to their painted silos as part of the Wimmera Mallee Silo Trail experience. The local Councils in which the Yangga Dyata Walking on Country story is embedded includes West Wimmera, Hindmarsh and Ararat Councils.
The new Yangga Dyata Walking on Country Silo Activation Project has been added to the various websites promoting silo art trails including www.australiansiloarttrail.com and www.visitvictoria.com.au
The project is designed to be viewed in the evening with lighting design to capture the silo images at night. This value-adds to the tourist experience of the Silo Art Trail and encourages more overnight stays in the region.
Managing access and visitation to the site
Council staff have worked through details to ensure the site functions for pedestrians, site visitors, neighbouring businesses and residents.
LOCATION: The silos are located at 35-38 Wawunna Road, Horsham.
Placement of the mural on the east side of the silo was made in consultation with the site owners. The site lines and viewing points take advantage of the end of Wawunna Road (north of the railway line) as a safe pull in, parking or viewing point. This aims to reduce impacts on neighbours to the north of the silo site.
VIEWING AREA: The ideal viewing area is on the east side of the silos across the road from 35 Wawunna Road, Horsham. This is where both the Silo and Flour Mill artworks can be seen together and is next to the accessible car park and interpretive signage.
Accessible car parking is located next to the viewing area and interpretive signage in the south east corner of the 35 Wawunna Road viewing area next to the interpretive signage.
Long bay car parking is located along Mill St and on the east side of 35 Wawunna Road.
General car parking is available on the East side of 35-38 Wawunna Road.
INTERPRETIVE SIGNAGE AND INFORMATION:
There is accessible interpretive signage that is located on the South East side of 35-38 Wawunna Road at the viewing area.
There are Tactile QR Code indicators on the signage for the following information.
• QR code to this website
• Easy English pdf link to the interpretive signage.
• Yanggendyinanyuk’s audio story and transcript told by his descendent Aunty Jennifer Beer.
• Audio described experience of the two art works and signage.
• QR code to the Silo Art Trail website.