Sam Bates is an Australian contemporary street artist best known for his large-scale photorealistic murals. Based in Scotland, he travels around the world creating this unique style of art with extreme attention to detail. So, where is the best place to encounter his artworks in Victoria?
There are at least three locations where I am able to find silos painted by the internationally celebrated artist.
The first is in the lively city of Horsham approximately halfway between Melbourne and Adelaide. This silo art pays tribute to Wotjobaluk warrior Yanggendyinanyuk who played a key role in the search for the Cooper-Duff children lost in desolate scrubland in 1864. Yanggendyinanyuk was also part of the 1868 cricket tour to England, hence making him one of the country's first professional Indigenous sportspeople. The adjacent flour mill features his totem the black cockatoo.
Secondly, driving along Dimboola-Rainbow Road brought me to the invisible Roley Klinge, a local legend renowned for his involvement in country tennis. Roley spent a great amount of time coaching younger players. Unfortunately, he passed away in 1991. As the art of photorealism gets a little tricky without a photograph of the person, Sam came up with the idea of not painting the body, and so, we now have an invisible man on the Arkona silos!
Lastly, there is the Nullawil silo art depicting a Kelpie sheepdog and its farmer. I found the brown-eyed working dog to be rather impressive. Looking carefully, I also noticed a stick and galah on the dog's tag. This image speaks to the name of the township which was derived from the Indigenous words for both those things.