Silo art is new to this year’s Wall to Wall, but the motivations behind Jimmy Beattie’s work remain the same.
The Melbourne artist, who goes by Dvate, “could paint a tiger, but that has no connection to the community”.
When approached about creating a piece on the Goorambat silos, his first work of that kind, he researched into species in the area and met with the community.
“It’s a Barking Owl, which is critically endangered,” Beattie said.
“They were around here 50 years ago – some are still in Mount Pilot National Park and we’ve had locals say they see them, but we don’t know if it’s really them.
“This is my fourth year at the festival; first I did the squirrel glider, then the Kelpie – our dog Tessa – and last year I did the Regent Honeyeater.
“I’m trying to push the conservation message as well.
“The hospitality here is second-to-none, the people treat us so well, they’re fighting to bring us lunch every day, it has that real community vibe.”
Beattie will finish another silo at Goorambat before this weekend’s event and the second satellite work will be at Devenish.
There will be 21 artists transforming the streets of Benalla, coming from as far as New York.
Festival artistic director Shaun Hossack said a new feature would be the ‘virtual reality painting’ taking place at the event hub on Saturday night.
“Instead of having a spray can, you have a controller almost like a video game, so you can control the colours and movements,” he said.
“We’ll have one of our pro artists Adnate doing a live painting performance so you can see it from his eyes.
“We received $125,000 from the Andrews government – Jaclyn Symes has been an incredible supporter – that’s taken it to a whole new level of professionalism and that’s really going to show this year.”