A Tale of Two Cities …

Not London and Paris but Warracknabeal and Brim.

They are not as far apart as London and Paris but the rivalry is just as intense and the Brim Silos have really heated it up.

You will find them out in the dry west of Victoria, sheep wheat country. Warracknabeal has a population of about 2 400 people, about half the population are descended from Harry Yambiak and are named Smith, Jones, Scott or Brown. The rest are named Avery. The second greatest moment in the town’s history was the birth of its most famous son, Nick Cave. The greatest moment was when he went to live somewhere else.

The Council thought that the town lacked a little zing so they came up with the notion of some civic art. What an achievement …

Waracka

It has never been accused of distracting passing drivers.

Twenty kilometres away is the little hamlet of Brim, population about 100 (261 at the last census but falling so fast 100 might be about right). The school closed in 2000, the pub closed in 2013. But when it comes to civic art they know how to do it …

Brim I P

… on a grand scale. Now that it’s completed it is a traffic hazard, the signs are out on the highway, the silos are being so frequently photographed that the image must be wearing away pixel by pixel.

Brim Silo

The big story now is who are they? Are they real? The artist is a Queenslander, is that Joe Bjelke-Peterson? The official line is that they should not be seen as individuals but as representatives of the local folk. Fortunately my Warracknabeal correspondent is able to shed a little light on the matter. She has kindly provided the following photos.

Brim ll

From which we learn that the subjects are real and none of them are Joe Bjelke-Peterson.

Even before completion the people in Warracknabeal knew they were being shown up in a big way. Here are some that have driven over there to display their silo envy …

SiloEnvy

Footnote. If you have never heard of Nick Cave or Joe Bjelke-Peterson there is absolutely nothing to be gained by looking them up.

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