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Star attraction in Unicorn Lane

Starmakers: Jean Laing, Lidia Aitken and Cr Samantha McIntosh Mayor of Ballarat who opened the exhibition in Unicorn Lane.

UNICORN Lane Gallery is currently awash with just a small portion of multicoloured stars, which were a part of the 1 Million Stars to End Violence Project.

On Saturday the opening and community celebration took place.

Buninyong resident Lidia Aitken was the motivator behind the local drive to make the stars, which had an initial target of 10,000.

“We’ve been part of this project since 2014, we’ve done lots of displays around Ballarat but this is the final with the stars that we will be doing and also it’s in conjunction with the ones that we sent o Brisbane in 2017,” Ms Aitken said.

“We sent a little over 40,000 but we made over 47,000 altogether.” At the opening on Saturday many of those who had donated their time in making stars were present.

“I just think it is overwhelming. The support people have given me over this whole project has been wonderful and it’s really important that we say no to violence,” Ms Aitken said, adding that there were two boxes jam-packed with stars and that is to represent the stars made by the Ballarat community because there was massive support from schools, businesses, community groups and individuals.

“There were just so many (stars) and people will remember the display we had at Stockland when we had 30,000 stars there,” Ms Aitken explained.

“There is one permanent display at the police station, in the foyer, of 2,000 stars.” The display at Unicorn Lane has various messages attached to each art work from the people involved in making them.

“It has covered the messages we are trying to portray, its covered that area that violence is not a good thing at all and it has given a little story about Maryann (Talia Pau), the instigator of the project,” Ms Aitken said.

“When I first spoke to Maryann all those years ago she said her dream was to have a million stars, well she ended up with over two million.” City of Ballarat Mayor Samantha McIntosh acknowledged the amount of work, care and thought that had gone into the 1Million Stars Project to End Violence and the culmination with this final display.

“There have been many conversations, many messages that have been shared though press, through friendship, through activity,” she said.

Pointing to a display the Mayor added, “This one shows Rosie Batty coming to Ballarat; It shows the significance of the work of our local people sharing across the country, that is so important.

“This is an issue that we need to deal with together and here we can see it’s been happening.” The stars in Unicorn Lane, Ballarat, will be on display until April 30.