PPE 2 2021


Registration number






Production date



oil paint on custom made cradled hardboard

Dimensions (H x W x D)

80 x 80 cm

Credit line

Donation of Metro Tunnel Creative Project,
City of Melbourne Art and Heritage Collection
© Courtesy of the artist, photography courtesy of Narelle Wilson


Chelsea Gustafsson, PPE 2, 2021, Metro Tunnel Project, work, workers, infrastructure


This painting by Chelsea Gustafsson is a part of the Metro Tunnel Creative Project Donation received by the Art and Heritage Collection in 2023. The work was featured as a part of the exhibition 'Making the Metro Tunnel: Reflections by Contemporary Australian Artists' which took place at Domain House from 1 April - 7 May 2023.

Through the period of construction, the Metro Tunnel Project has provided jobs for thousands of workers. Gustafsson's paintings depict the highly recognisable items of personal protective equipment (PPE) such as hardhats, high visibility vests, steel capped boots and safety glasses.

Commissioned by the Metro Tunnel Creative Program, the exhibition sought to "explore and celebrate the construction milestones of the Metro Tunnel Project, which has been under construction for several years. The artists in this exhibition have taken inspiration from archaeological digs, heavy machinery, the aesthetics of worksites and worker's equipment to produce their own portrayals of the project." - quote from 'Making the Metro Tunnel' exhibition catalogue, 2023

"I build my still lifes like sculptural assemblages and am fascinated with the seemingly mundane. There’s an unexpected beauty in what we regard as common, perhaps because that which is so familiar to us can become almost invisible. I like to play with various objects and textures and through the process of constructing items into a sculptural form by twisting or balancing them to find their sweet spot for a composition and then watching how the light falls and reflects across these forms, they begin to gel as a single entity and a beauty emerges" - Chelsea Gustafsson, quote from 'Making the Metro Tunnel' exhibition catalogue, 2023