Regional SILOS project wraps up


An ambitious regional arts initiative, The SILOS Project, will be wound up, bringing to an early close a project that has captivated the imaginations of the Cowra- Canowindra communities in the NSW Central West.

The project team are pleased with the many legacies of this community-based project, despite being unsuccessful in obtaining competitive federal grants or philanthropic sponsorship that would have brought to fruition the third and final stage of the multi-year project.

“We know the community will be really disappointed – as are we – by this news, given the long duration of activity and interest during the Silos development, and knowing the importance for regional stories being told in a contemporary context to new and broader audiences,” the SILOS team said.

Launched in 2013, SILOS brought together a collection of Australia’s leading artists to work with communities in the NSW Central West to present a powerful, life affirming story about our relationship with the land. Inspired by the dynamic structure of an annual agricultural show, SILOS aimed to celebrate the extraordinary riches of the region. The vision for the final public performance stage included an outdoor performance spectacle making use of local grain silos.

Stages one and two of the SILOS Project involved community and schools workshops in dance, performance, storytelling and design.  Stages one and two of the project were funded by Arts NSW and the Australia Council for the Arts.

Over 800 students, musicians, dancers, designers, writers, photographers from early to late age have been affected and influenced by a diverse range of industry leaders in developing local stories and visualising exciting concepts.

“We would like to thank everyone for the immense collaborative creative input to date. Support from Cowra Council, local businesses, community members and schools who have all invested time and energy into the pre-production stage,” the SILOS team said.

“The good news is the community has really enjoyed and benefited from the creative process, complexities, community building and working with key industry leaders in bringing an understanding of a large scale production, and professional development to pre-production stage. Businesses have benefited from the artists holding workshops and plenary sessions in both Cowra and Canowindra over extended periods,” the SILOS team said.

As a specific outcome The Shearers Ballet was developed in 2016, a performance work developed with dancers alongside Norm Palazzi and other local shearers, funded by the Australia Council for the Arts. Whilst not able to pursue the bigger production, the SILOS team will continue to work on the Shearers Ballet.

The SILOS project process has included recording a wonderful collection of oral stories led by Craig Walsh, based on aspects of agricultural history. This will become part of the legacy developed during the project for use by local Historical Societies. The Age of Fishes Museum with collaboration from the CORRIDOR project, SILOS project, Cowra-Cabonne Science Hub and Visual Artist Craig Walsh, have developed a realistic animation of the Grossi Fish, now on display at the AOF.

The SILOS Project team would like to thank the following people and organisations for their generous letters of support for grants and their broader engagement over the project duration:
Andrew Gee MP, Senator Fiona Nash, Councillor Bill West Mayor – Cowra Council, Orange City Council, Weddin Shire Council, Cabonne Council, John Holland, NSW Transport, Department of Primary Industries, Canowindra and Grenfell historical societies, Ad Loyalty, CWA Canowindra, Canowindra@Home, Ed Fagan, RAMHP, BMEC, musician Mary Anne Wright.

Local support: Councillor Peter Wright, Norm Palazzi, Finns Store Canowindra, Marlow House, Eddies of Canowindra, Nerida Cuddy.

The project has brought to the region top Australian arts makers – including Craig Walsh, Patrick Nolan, Donna Abela, Scott Saunders, Joey Ruigrok, Annemaree Dalziel and Alison Plevey – working alongside local practitioners and communities in relationships that continue to evolve.

SILOS has been a collaboration between the CORRIDOR project and regional arts development organisation Arts OutWest with artistic director Patrick Nolan.

Project inquires: Phoebe Cowdery, Local Project Co-ordinator, The Corridor Project  0413 910 697

Shearers Ballet development, 2016: Norm and Larry Shearing off .

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