Is Australian Silo Art Racist?

More from Artraitors.


Australia’s obsession with bad art done big continues to run, with country towns across the nation falling over themselves to be part of this embarrassing trend. There are even “Silo Trails”, (or should that be “trials”?) where you can plan a trip based around the intersection of the world’s least imaginative artists with the least imaginative commissioning bodies.

But are they racist? Silo art is, with some (sadly too few) exceptions, overwhelmingly old whitey nostalgia. Backward looking, blinkered, generally barely rising above the level of chocolate box kitsch of a white Australia of early 20th century. Often the topic will be tea towel style paintings of draught horses, shearers, steam trains, or Diggers/slouch hat based works executed with the skills of hack commercial artists pre photoshop. And many of the artists are internationally based! Is it not absurd to get an artist from say Hawaii or Mongolia to come all…

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About AHC McDonald

Comedian, artist, photographer and critic. From 2007 to 2017 ran the culture and satire site The Worst of Perth
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2 Responses to Is Australian Silo Art Racist?

  1. Guy Crommelin says:

    If promotes the white story in rural Australia, to the exclusion of the Aboriginal story then it a wrong and an outdated view of who Australia is and represents. I wouldn’t call it racist as such. It’s just in poor taste and dumb.


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