Food and art combine: Renowned street artist Kelsey Montague makes her mark on The Kitchens

When The Kitchens at Robina commissioned a 10.5 metre wide bespoke artwork from acclaimed street artist Kelsey Montague, the aim was to create a feast for the eyes as well as for the tastebuds. And the ‘Tree of Life’ delivers in spades, with hordes of curious shoppers taking the opportunity to watch Kelsey craft the outstanding wall mural during her sojourn here in November.

Kelsey Montague’s art has turned heads worldwide – from the bustling streets of New York to California’s coastline – with her interactive street illustrations and #WhatLiftsYou campaign that invites passers-by to ‘step’ into the artwork, take a snap, and share their images on social media. The artist’s stunning work has also conjured several famous fans, including Taylor Swift and Vanessa Hudgens, who too have posed alongside her celebrated designs. We shot a few questions to Kelsey about the mural.

Tell us about the Tree of Life wall mural. What little elements are in there for people to search for?

The Kitchens is a community hub based around fresh food, so I knew an interactive tree of life would be perfect for the mural because its spiritual meaning symbolises life, interconnectivity and nourishment, and in the past, the tree of life has been depicted with fruits and natural foods. I’ve basically reworked that idea for Robina Town Centre, and have included in it some veggies like carrots and asparagus, some fruits like pineapple, watermelon and bananas, plus other favourites like ice cream, and of course, some coffee!

Do you set out with a very clear idea of what you want your pieces to be and then deliver that, or are there dynamic shifts throughout the creation process?

After sitting down with a client and having a really good discussion on what they’re all about, I form a clear idea pretty quickly about what I want to do. In saying that, when I dive into a piece, I start drawing and tend to get lost in a rhythm, so I just let it all flow out. My idea can shift slightly through the drawing process, but on the whole not dramatically so.

Do you feel there is much of a difference in art that you create publicly vs. art that you create in private?

No, I actually don’t. I feel really comfortable creating my pieces in either setting, because I love what I do. It doesn’t matter if I paint in public or private setting. I tend to have a similar creative process for each of them, so the result tends to be of a similar caliber.

You’ve provided people all over the world to talk about what inspires them.  But what lifts you?

My family lifts me. My mom is my mentor, my dad is my biggest fan, and my sister is my business partner. And I can’t forget my sweet dog Roo!




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