Unfairly tarnished forever, Snowtown now has a giant 360-degree technicolour mural to reshape its future. This peaceful township in the mid-north became infamous when the remains of eight murder victims were discovered in acid-filled barrels in a disused bank vault in 1999. Although the Snowtown community had nothing to do with these murders, decades of stigma and economic struggle remain. It is hoped that the water tower art, which celebrates local volunteers and sports stars, will play a part in changing the perception of the town and make it a more positive place.
Renowned artist Joel Van Moore, aka 'Vans the Omega', undertook the project and challenged himself right to the very end. Extreme temperatures, swirling winds, dust storms and heavy rains almost made it impossible, however, colour finally triumphed over darks with the help of 120 litres of paint and 300 spray cans. Bright faces started to appear on the disused water tower, just a few hundred metres from that notorious vault. The four people featured on the mural are a Country Fire Service hero of thirty years, a 25-year SA Ambulance servicewoman, a netball player and a football record holder.
Football record holder
While we were there, it was great to see others stopping to look and taking photos of the colourful artwork too. Much and varied colours have been used, I believe, to depict brilliance, glow and radiance. I personally hope this brings many benefits to the community.
Disused bank vault building
The water tower art is located along Railway Terrace East in Snowtown, approximately 150 kilometres north of Adelaide. Nearby, you can also find a big turbine blade and learn about one of South Australia's largest wind farms. Public toilets are not far away either, if you do need to relieve yourself after that long drive.