Inspired by Dr Martin Luther King Jnr’s words of ‘being light and love in our communities’, Art Therapist Siobhan McQuillan is inviting people from all over Ireland to weave stars as a symbol of daily commitment and solidarity to end ALL forms of violence, together.
Siobhan initiated the project with the Amber Women’s Refuge in Kilkenny after meeting artist Mary Ann Talia Pau in Sydney, Australia. The original project was a response to the rape and murder of Irish woman Jill Meagher in 2012.
The aim is to raise awareness and provide information about Domestic Violence.
Siobhan McQuillan said the original project installation was so impressive, that she was deeply touched by the compelling visual impact it had along with the powerful message that together we can stand against violence while connecting with members of the community.
Kilkenny County Council has partnered with Amber Women’s refuge to support and promote this project and to get people weaving stars not just across Kilkenny, but indeed the whole of Ireland. This Kilkenny One Million Stars Project is the first of its kind for the country.
Because of the Covid-19 crises, the process, that was meant to be a community gathering activity, has evolved into one where individuals can make stars safely in their homes. The Arts Office in Kilkenny said they were inviting people, no matter where you are from in Ireland, to get weaving at home with family and friends and to help spread the word. More star weavers mean more stars which will influence the impact of the final exhibition in Kilkenny in November/ December 2020.
This project is also a fundraiser for Amber Women’s refuge as funds are vital for it to continue to provide safety, security, solace, solidarity and a range of other support services to people who are suffering violence in the home. Refuges throughout Ireland are inundated with calls from people in very precarious and perilous situations. To live with a violent partner (emotional and physical) has far reaching consequences in relation to the longer term emotional and wellbeing impact it has on the victims and survivors of abuse. So these refuges offer hugely significant support.
Stars can be woven from 5cm Poly ribbon and this can be purchased from wholesaleflowers.ie (ask for Graham). The group is also encouraging people to weave stars from recycled materials. To date there are stars made from paper bags, crisp packets, newspaper and left over wrapping paper.
The woven Stars shall be assembled and curated into an exhibition in Kilkenny during the 16 Days of Activism in November 2020 and throughout the Christmas period.
Follow the weaving tutorial by clicking here,
Project contact Stephanie McDermott at SMcDermott@carlowcollege.ie or 086 3368135
@amberwomensrefuge @artsreachireland @irelandstarweavers http://www.onemillionstars.net
Find the donate command of the Amber website http://www.amberwomensrefuge.ie