Amber Women’s Refuge recently partnered with St Luke’s General Hospital Kilkenny to bring the LOVE Installation to the hospital, raising awareness around gender-based violence. The installation was launched on 4 August during Kilkenny Arts Festival and ran until 22 November.
Star-weaving workshops were held on site at the hospital for staff and patients during Arts Week. Doctors, nurses, administration, and ambulance staff took time out to spend a few moments of mindfulness to weave an eight-pointed star for the project. Patients on the children’s ward also wove stars alongside their parents during a workshop that brought a welcome distraction and a little bit of fun and colour. The stars were tied to the LOVE installation after the workshops.
This project encourages art for activism and social change [using] creativity to connect communities through a common symbolic language and social justice goal. Our public installations are visual petitions that shine a light on gender-based violence. Our weaving workshops create safe spaces for reflection and making. Art moves the heart, body and soul and gives voice to the marginalized. – Siobhan McQuillan, One Million Stars Ireland Project Lead
The One Million Stars Ireland project is an inclusive community arts project connecting communities across Ireland in solidarity against domestic, sexual and gender-based violence (DSGBV). Founded in 2019, the project was brought to Ireland and is being directed here by Art Therapist Siobhan McQuillan and Amber Women’s Refuge in Kilkenny. It is part of the global One Billion Stars project, founded in Australia in 2012 by artist Maryann Talia Pau after the rape and murder of an Irish women living in Melbourne.
Each eight-point star represents light, hope and solidarity against DSGBV and promotes the project’s eight points of healthy love within relationships. Stars are curated into a travelling LOVE installation, spreading love and hope for a future free from violence and abuse for all in our community.
Arts Officer Edelle Nolan has been instrumental in bringing the LOVE installation and workshops to the hospital: ‘This wonderful and impactful project was a welcome addition to our arts programme at SLGH as we offer our support as staff to help end domestic and gender-based violence and encourage positive communication. A lot of our ED staff and also Paediatrics and Social Work department staff would have direct experience of working with patients affected by gender-based violence. So the message of this project has a strong resonance for them.’
The stars bring brightness to the hospital and are uplifting. – Dr Arwa Osman, SHO Surgical Team, St Luke’s General Hospital
The LOVE installation continues its journey around Kilkenny city, communicating its message of love and hope for a future free from violence and abuse for all, and is now in the Castle Yard, Design Centre as part of Yulefest Kilkenny celebrations. You can visit the LOVE installation over Yulefest and see the new four metre Amber Selfie Star also adorned with eight pointed stars woven by many people across the community.
The One Million Stars Ireland project works with diverse groups, businesses and individual star weavers across the country. There are now star weaving communities in 23 counties across Ireland, who collectively have already woven almost 200,000 stars to end violence in Ireland. The youngest star weaver is five years of age, the eldest is 89.
You can join the Movement and register as a star weaver or star weaving group or staff team at www.onemillionstarsireland.ie
If you would like to find out more about hosting LOVE, email firstname.lastname@example.org