Regionally women celebrated in colourful ‘Horsepower Highway’ art trail

Driving long distances in regional Western Australia usually features long stretches of open road and farming land, but a community group in Great Southern is shaking things up.Key points:The Horsepower Highway features a line up of vintage tractors serving as a tourist attraction for the town of GnowangerupThe initiative was started by a local community…

Regionally women celebrated in colourful ‘Horsepower Highway’ art trail

Driving long distances in regional Western Australia usually features long stretches of open road and farming land, but a community group in Great Southern is shaking things up.

Key points:

  • The Horsepower Highway features a line up of vintage tractors serving as a tourist attraction for the town of Gnowangerup
  • The initiative was started by a local community group
  • Two water tanks and a tractor were recently added to the lineup as a tribute to local women

Members from Gnowangerup group GNP 360 are behind the tourist attraction Horsepower Highway — a lineup of 20 vintage tractors along the Broomehill-Gnowangerup Road.

The roadtrip icon has just added a splash of colour to honour local women who serve the community.

A series of paintings by artist Jerome Davenport features local paramedics and firefighters as well as local farmers and stalwarts on two large water tanks.

Lucinda the pink tractor is also a new arrival alongside the tanks.

a pink tractor

Lucinda the tractor is one of the new additions to the Horsepower Highway.(

Supplied: Cassandra Beeck

)

‘The chook lady’

Blair Hinkley grew up on a family farm in Gnowangerup and has been featured on one of the water tanks.

“It came out really well, much better than I expected,” Ms Hinkley said.

Locally she is affectionately known as “the chook lady”.

“When I was in primary school I had quite a lot of chooks and would sell my eggs at a little store at the end of our driveway,” Ms Hinkley said.

“Everyone would line up for my eggs.

“It was something that was very fun to do.”

a woman holding a chicken

Blair Hinkley is affectionately known as ‘the chook lady’ as locals have enjoyed produce from her chickens over the years.(

Supplied: Cassandra Beeck

)

The 19-year-old is studying a Bachelor of Agricultural Science and hopes to return to Gnowangerup to be a vet.

“I’m excited to finally finish my degree in years to come and go back to give to the community.”

She said she hopes to eventually return to what she loves.

“I think having free-range chooks is a really big thing,” Ms Hinkley said.

“Maybe I might have a free-range chook farm.”

a painting of a woman on the side of a water tank

The Horsepower Highway leads into the Great Southern town of Gnowangerup.(

Supplied: Cassandra Beeck

)

The perfect addition

Horsepower Highway project manager and Gnowangerup local Cassandra Beeck says the installation is a fitting tribute to local women.

“Often things that people would take for granted.”

a painting of a woman in a hat

Additions to Gnowangerup’s Horsepower Highway aims to celebrate and recognise rural women.(

Supplied: Cassandra Beeck

)

Ms Beeck says the paintings have especially revitalised the water tanks.

“They were a bit ugly, they just sat there,” she said.

The water tanks usually serve as emergency water supplies for livestock and provided water during bushfires over the summer of 2019.

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