Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Mildura Day 1

Today we headed inland away from the ocean and the Great Ocean Road, and drove to Mildura. We left early just as the sun was breaking through.

Along the way we stopped at the Brim Silo Art on the disused wheat silos overlooking the tiny, drought stricken Wimmera community of Brim, 75km north of Horsham. Population of about 100, Brim is now on the tourist map. It is just extraordinary how a person could paint this size art piece and keep the perspective of the picture etc.

Artist Guido van Helten from Brisbane put the finishing touches on his 30 metre high portrait of four farmers, using spray paint and acrylic house paint, from his super cherrypicker after three weeks of working in frequent 40 degree days with strong winds, including Christmas Day, New Year's and his birthday.

Many people ask about the people portrayed in the paintings however van helten requests that the mystery be maintained. Ï don't want this to be about individual people specifically, it's about this place, it's about the community and, on a broader scale, the whole Wimmera region. If you leave the anonymity to these people and people see whoever they want to see, they can have their own connection to the work".

"I got here and it was huge and demanding, but i couldn't let that go. The extremities really push you to get through it, there was a dust storm, it was windy, I've had everything including lightning".

Mildura is located on the world's seventh largest river and one of the world's longest navigable rivers, the Murray River. Mildura is also known as the centre of Victoria's Food Bowl and is a major producer of citrus fruits (especially oranges), and wine. It is also notable for its grape production, supplying 80% of Victoria's grapes. Many wineries also source grapes from Mildura.

The Old Mildura Station Homestead is a reconstruction of Mildura Station, which was established here by the Jamieson brothers in 1847 as pastoral lease. The homestead tells the story of the Chaffey family's early domestic and business life in Mildura. It was used not only as their first family home in the area, but also by George Chaffey as the headquarters of Chaffey Brothers Ltd.

The site of the original homestead is 100 metres upstream. It was demolished in 1923 after falling into disrepair, but the homestead's significance to Mildura's history and community prompted RR Etherington and AR Mansell of the Mildura & District Historical Society to begin advocating for its reconstruction during the mid-1970s. With support from the Mildura City Council, a specially-formed Building Committee built the cottage, woolshed and grounds to match the original homestead and its location as closely as possible. The Old Mildura Station Homestead officially re-opened on 21 November 1984.

No comments: