Hunter community groups weave 13,000 stars for national project

HOPE: A sea of handmade stars blow in the breeze as Timeless Textiles Gallery artist Anne Kempton explains their relevance on International Women's Day.

HOPE: A sea of handmade stars blow in the breeze as Timeless Textiles Gallery artist Anne Kempton explains their relevance on International Women's Day.

Anne Kempton believes community projects such as the Million Stars to End Violence helps “stitch yourself together again”.

Ms Kempton is an artist at Timeless Textiles Gallery in Newcastle, which took part in the national project where communities were urged to weave stars to contribute to a project initiated by Brisbane-based weaver and artist Maryann Talia Pau.

The Million Stars to End Violence project started in 2012 by Ms Talia Pau in response to the rape and murder of Melbourne ABC journalist Jill Meagher.

The hope was that community groups around the nation would come together and weave stars to show everyone could do something to raise awareness against domestic violence.

“We became a Weave100 community 18 months ago and have made 13,000 stars since,” Ms Kempton said.

“It’s about bringing light, hope and peace into the world.

“It has been a beautiful project; it has been very heartfelt and very purposeful and is about filling people up with light and hope rather than the bleakness of violence that can occur.”

A sea of the hand-made stars was unveiled out the front of the Timeless Textiles Gallery on Hunter Street on March 8 to mark International Women’s Day.

The stars will be sent to Queensland to be displayed as part of the Million Stars project at the 2018 Commonwealth Games opening.

”I started the Million Stars project using weaving, art and culture, which I love and am passionate about, to bring people together to do something beautiful,” Ms Talia Pau said in a statement.

“What began as a very personal response to a local tragedy has grown to reach into people’s hearts across Australia. I invited people on Facebook to get involved and help me weave one million stars, as symbols of courage and to end violence, to bring light and love into a world where there is so much suffering and hatred.” 

She believes weaving the eight-pointed stars can bring joy, healing and therapy to those impacted by violence.

Newcastle City Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes was on hand to help unveil the fluttering stars on International Women’s Day.

“It is a very important community project driven from generosity and not only celebrating International Women’s Day but as a symbol of hope.”

COMMUNITY EFFORT: Anne Kempton, Kate Doran, Hari, Louise Clifton, Barbara Hickling and Bob James worked on the Million Stars project.

COMMUNITY EFFORT: Anne Kempton, Kate Doran, Hari, Louise Clifton, Barbara Hickling and Bob James worked on the Million Stars project.