A Christmas tree made from the lifejackets of Syrian children is on show at St Paul’s Cathedral this festive season as a reminder of the plight of refugees the world over.
Archibald prize-winning artist Ben Quilty and finalist Mirra Whale created the twelve foot tree sculpture, called ‘Not a creature was stirring’, from hundreds of child-sized lifejackets abandoned on the beaches of Lesbos, Greece.
The Dean of Melbourne, Dr Andreas Loewe, said the sculpture was a powerful reflection on the human cost of war and conflict.
Dr Loewe says the hi-vis Christmas tree at the entrance of the Cathedral is a reminder that Jesus and his family became refugees almost immediately after his birth – it’s an invitation to us to open our hearts to help people displaced by war and conflict.
During the height of the Syrian civil war hundreds of refugees daily undertook the journey from Turkey to the European Union by boat.