Dairy farmer’s silage bale art delights Victorian community

Some artists work with a canvas, but for Victorian dairy farmer Mark ‘Sparky’ Dowling, the humble hay bale forms the heart of his pieces.

For the past nine years Mr Dowling has been decorating hay bales on his Gippsland dairy farm with colourful silage wrap and humorous messages

A family engagement provided the inspiration for his first artwork.

Mr Dowling’s sister had just become engaged and he wanted to celebrate the good news from the farm paddock.

“When my sister got married in Thailand to a Dutch fella about 30 of us went over, so I started just with ‘Thailand here we come!’ for the family and it’s just grown out of proportion since,” he said.

From jokes to advertising for local businesses, Mr Dowling said his favourite design was based on minions, the fictional yellow creatures that appear in the Despicable Me movie franchise.

“One year I did minion country where I made three minions and said ‘Can you find all four?’ and once cars started slowing down, I sort of had to make another one,” he said.

Farmer wants a wife

Mr Dowling has even used the bales in his quest to find love.

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