Internationally renowned street artist Smug has completed the Arkona Silo Art, and further improvements are being made to enhance the viewing experience.

Funded by the Victorian State Government through the Mallee Silo Art Trail Program, a flagship project of the Tourism Infrastructure Program, Arkona is the 12th silo installation along the Silo Art Trail across the Wimmera Mallee region, and joins Albacutya as examples within the Hindmarsh Shire.

Situated ten kilometres north of Dimboola along the Dimboola-Rainbow Road, the artwork acknowledges the importance of country tennis to Arkona, and more broadly all small regional communities. Country tennis competitions formed the major social gatherings through the summer months, bringing the neighbouring farming communities together.

In conjunction with the artwork, a speed limit of 80 kilometres per hour has been introduced for traffic through Arkona to increase safety, and work is ongoing on improvements to the viewing area.

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Hindmarsh Shire Council Mayor, Cr Melanie Albrecht, said, “It is wonderful to see the next Silo Art project come to life at Arkona. Smug is an extraordinarily talented artist, and Hindmarsh is fortunate to have two amazing pieces of his artwork to celebrate.

“Hindmarsh looks forward to increased tourist numbers visiting Arkona, which we have already seen travelling to the Albacutya Silo.”

Minister for Regional Development, Mary-Anne Thomas MP, said “The Silo Art Trail is a ground-breaking project and an example of how creativity can revitalise a region and shape a new future for a community.

“I’m excited to see how the artwork on Arkona Silo and in Dimboola will entice more visitors to this beautiful town.”

The local community suggested local identity and keen tennis advocate Roley Klinge as a fitting subject for the theme. Sadly, Roley passed in 1991. Painting a photorealistic portrait on the scale of a grain silo of someone the artist could not meet and photograph created a challenge. Smug developed the idea of painting a unique artwork reflecting Roley’s passion for tennis and iconic terry-towelling hat and glasses but making his face and body invisible. This created an intriguing image, unique amongst the Silo Art Trail, highlighting the artist’s incredible style and technique. Not physically painting the body makes this a unique mural that can appeal to all walks of life to interact with the playful tone of the artwork.

Smug’s career has seen him being invited to the biggest street art festivals throughout the world. He is truly an Australian street art icon globally, with over 200,000 social media followers. His photorealistic style and attention to detail are at the forefront of the Arkona Silo artwork.

During his stay, Smug also painted a mural in Dimboola, creating a strong link between the silo art and the Dimboola township. The mural can be found along the laneway connecting Lochiel Street and the rear of the Dimboola Library.