A very sparkly Metro Tunnel Christmas with The Huxleys
If you’ve ever wanted to see two crocs sharing a prawn cocktail, glittery gumnut babies and kissing emus, then The Huxleys have your Christmas wishes covered.
The Melbourne-based artists, known for their dazzling and surreal fashion art performances, have transformed the Metro Tunnel construction fencing at City Square and Scott Alley into a glittery wonderland of Australiana-themed Christmas characters, accented with coloured neon lights.
After what Will Huxley describes as a “tough year”, the pair wanted their Metro Tunnel Creative Program Christmas artwork, As Camp as Christmas, to bring joy, magic and humour back into the city.
“We love how camp, decorative and over-the-top Christmas can be,” he says, “but Christmas can be Northern Hemisphere-centred. We wanted to celebrate the beauty and uniqueness of Australian flora and fauna.”
The pair cites Australian fashion designers Linda Jackson and Jenny Kee as their inspiration for the work, along with the stories and artwork of May Gibbs.
They worked with illustrator Manouri Peiris on the artwork, and neon and “shimmer wall” studio Electric Confetti on the installation.
“Manouri took our brief and initial sketches and did some gorgeous illustrations of some of the flora and Christmas elements,” Will says.
“It was a long process designing the work and then creating each costume, the makeup and then photographing the elements, before finally bringing it all together, incorporating our elements with Manouri's illustrations.”
In addition to the artwork along Swanston St, The Huxleys’ characters also appear with outré dance moves in a Christmas carol music video, playing on screen at Federation Square and at the Metro Tunnel information centre, Metro Tunnel HQ, on Swanston St.
But it wouldn’t be a Huxleys Christmas without a live performance – and to that end they are hosting roving disco carols on Thursday 16 December.
Pop along to City Square at 5pm and you might be lucky enough to nab a festive gift.
There are more Instagrammable Christmas city highlights nearby at Flinders Quarter, between Flinders, Collins, Swanston and Elizabeth streets. Shops are decked out with handmade wreaths by artist, designer and stylist Kitiya Palaskas.
Below street level at Degraves St, Campbell Arcade is now a Christmas wonderland, with real pine trees and coloured festoon lighting. For a special Christmas selfie, there are three giant postcard artworks by local label La La Land.
And for the kids, find free Australiana masks to colour in at Metro Tunnel HQ – and see your handiwork up on the screens by sharing with the hashtag #MetroTunnel.