MEDIA RELEASE

CHAPEL STREET PRECINCT COMMISSIONS ‘QUARANTREE’ ARTIST TO SPARK JOY DURING UNCERTAIN TIMES

The face mask has been lifted off Melbourne’s Quarantrees – revealing the mystery artist behind the masked trees. Chapel Street Precinct revealed today it secretly commissioned visual artist Carla O’Brien, assisted by her best friend Georgina Damm, to install 120 of their unique artworks to adorn the Precinct’s trees and poles. Melburnians have been fascinated by the masked icons that mysteriously started to pop up during the lockdown. According to Carla, it was their second wave of the iconic masks, now emblazoned with CHAPEL STREET, which really struck a chord with Melburnians.

This second lockdown has been really tough for the people living in Melbourne, even for those of us who are usually optimistic,” said Carla O’Brien. “Adding the place name (CHAPEL ST) has helped galvanise Melburnians that we are all in this together and we need to have each other’s backs.

It wasn’t until the second wave of COVID that I approached Carla and Georgina to help put a smile on our community at such a harrowing time. Just a smile can change your day,” said Chrissie Maus, General Manager of Chapel Street Precinct Association (CSPA). “Street art is a reflection of our community and giving our residents and business owners a tiny bit of sunshine was so important to me as we all pull together to fight this invisible enemy.”   

The city may have been brought to a standstill for a second time, but creativity will never stop,” said Georgina Damm. “Art has the ability to bring people together when times are tough and the Quarantrees have definitely done that. While it was important for Carl and I to promote face mask-wearing, we also wanted these artworks to bring joy to people during their one hour walk each day. Each pole and tree has its own distinct personality; no combination of mask, eye or eyebrow is the same.Chapel Street Precincts’s 120 commissioned Quarantree artworks have been strategically placed around the precinct’s vibrant street art and murals as a backdrop. Melburnians that live within a 5km radius of Chapel Street Precinct can find them on their one hour permitted exercise walk per day.  

CSPA encourages Melburnians to follow government exercise guidelines during stage four lockdown, whilst also observing strict social distancing and hygiene protocols.

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