This week we’re excited to be launching a series of in store workshops to support the 1 Million Stars to End Violence Project, an initiative started by Maryann Talia Pau aimed at ending violence by bringing people together around the world to weave 1 million stars by 2018.
In September 2012 Australia was devastated by the rape and murder of Brunswick woman, Jill Meagher. The local community quickly came together to not only support one another, but to raise awareness for the need to prevent violence against women. Samoan Australian artist Maryann Talia Pau was one of the local residents who was profoundly saddened by Jill’s passing and began weaving stars out of ribbon as a personal response to her tragic death.
“A vigil was built for Jill by local women at Brunswick Baptist Church and that’s where I began weaving stars while I helped to collect written messages for Jill’s family. I couldn’t find any words to write to Jill, but I felt moved to weave stars instead. The stars are inspired by a quote by Dr Martin Luther King Jnr that I saw in the sea of flowers for Jill. It reads:
“Returning hate for hate, only multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness can not drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate can not drive out hate; only love can do that.”
Maryann taught herself to weave stars five years ago, based on a fish weave she had learn’t growing up in Auckland, New Zealand. Since then Maryann has taught many others how to weave the stars and now she wants to share them with as many people as possible in an effort to end violence.
“My hope is that we can use the power of light to build friendships and trust, and be part of a community that stands up to violence using the healing power of art and making together”. Since then more than 25,000 stars have been woven by schools, mental health patients, engineers, designers, doctors and religious groups from communities across Australia, New Zealand, Europe and the United States. The goal is to invite people to participate and learn, to create their own star weaving workshops and installation in their communities, then send them in by 2017 for a display of 1 million stars in one place in 2018.
To support Maryann’s amazing initiative, commencing this week the Myer Melbourne store will be hosting star weaving workshops until Saturday 21st February. People are invited to come along to the workshops and weave a star as a way of showing their support for ending violence in the community. The workshops will be held five days per week from Wednesdays through to Sundays and run for 15 minutes on Level 2. This morning our Myer Melbourne City store hosted a morning tea to launch the project in store, with Maryann taking guests including Myer Ambassador Lauren Phillips, Kerrie Hess, Dom Bagnatto, Richard Nylon and Natalie Bikicki, through a star weaving workshop.
To find out more about how you can attend a workshop and make a star head to myer.com.au/onemillionstars.