For Saturday’s workshop, we will begin with a discussion, facilitated by artist Chantal Fraser. Chantal is another Brisbane-based artist. Her practice explores identity and individuality through ornaments.
Chantal has exhibited at various national and international institutions, including QAGOMA, Brisbane; Artbank, Sydney; QUT Art Museum, Brisbane and La Cité internationale des Arts, Paris; Les Brassieres in Belgium; and Tjibaou Cultural Centre, New Caledonia.
Chantal and Maryann will talk about how the project started and share stories about the project’s impact to date.
After their conversation, Maryann will lead participants in a star weaving workshop. Everyone is welcome and materials are provided.
Art as Activism is part of the Council’s Cultivating the Arts program. We are also excited to be part of their Joy Connection – Weave for Joy next year.
In Ireland, communities are shining with star weaving excitement as they weave their way towards one million stars.
Tonight we join Siobhán McQuillan, Project Leader for One Million Stars Ireland, as they celebrate their 2 year anniversary of the stars being in Ireland. It also coincides with the start of the 16 Days of Activism, a highly active and awareness raising time for many communities around the world.
Friday 26 November
11am – 12pm (Kilkenny, Ireland time)
9pm -10pm (Brisbane, Australia time)
Anyone can join in this online event.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for the zoom link or visit www.onemillionstarsireland.ie for more details. We will hear from Siobhán, who will share a short video of the incredible star weavers across the country. Following this, One Billion Stars founder, Maryann Talia Pau, will share a presentation about the project to date and how she started on this star weaving journey.
There is much to celebrate for our Irish star weavers. You just need to take a look at their social media to see how active and engaged their local villages are. And it’s only going to grow!
Siobhán, in partnership with Amber Women’s Refuge, have created large scale installations at Kilkenny City Hall and the Medieval Mile Museum with their incredible large scale steel words, lovingly donated by JM Steel Kilkenny.
They’re also run online zoom star weaving workshops with @cartoonsaloon, local Syrian Women’s Group and Cope Galway, and so many more. Siobhán, Amber Women’s Refuge and her team are dedicated to spreading the star weaving love, and when it’s safe and with masks on, weaving workshops in person are a treat.
Running a star weaving workshop can be very rewarding.
Once you’re clear on your materials and have the instructions at hand, either printed or using our star weaving youtube tutorial, the workshops can be lots of fun. Because ending violence is an ongoing conversation, our star weaving workshops can be held at any time of the year. Many of our star weaving teachers volunteer their time to create spaces for star weaving workshops. Often, our star weavers find that it’s a gentle and creative way to bring people together who might be feeling isolated or who need some community connection.
Not only are Siobhán and Amber Women’s Refuge working together to run star weaving workshops but they’re on their way to weaving one million stars over the next few years. We can’t wait to share with you more about their star weaving journey and their ideas to display their stars over the coming months.
You can also find these printed instructions in our star weaving kits. Our kits also include pre-cut ribbon to weave your stars. You can choose from 100 stars, 500 stars or 1,000 stars. You can purchase our starter kits here.
Our first video tutorial to weave an 8 pointed star was made almost 10 years, when we started the One Million Stars to end violence project in 2012. We’ve also attached it to our Star Weaving Kits page for ease so that you can watch it while you weave your beautiful stars.
The simple answer is, you can use whatever materials you like. We prefer to use tear or florist ribbon, because they come in various colours and the ribbon width is approximately 33 mm.
In Samoa, we weave most of our ornaments and objects using dried pandanus leaf or coconut palm frond. Materials like pandanus are not as readily available here in Australia, but many weavers have learnt to improvise.
We’ve had star weavers make stars from paper strips, natural fibres, cotton fabric, recycled plastic bag strips, thin metal strips.
If you can fold it and shape it into an 8 pointed star, then you’re on to something! We’ve even had star weavers weave stars in different sizes, as tiny as a 5 cent coin or as large as 50cm.
Some of our star weavers are skilled master weavers, like Dr Maureen Lander. She has woven flax and paper stars with her community in Hokianga, Aotearoa NZ for the One Billion Stars project. Some of our Māmā’s (senior elders or aunties) in Rarotonga Cook Islands, wove stars using coconut leaf before switching to paper strips. You can make some beautiful small-scale installations using stars made from different materials. Each one will tell a different story, depending on the materials and sizes you make.
Can anyone weave a star?
In fact, we encourage and welcome EVERYONE, to learn how weave a star with us. You don’t need to be an artist or designer to learn how to weave. This weaving project is not just for women either, simply because women alone can’t end violence. We all need to participate. This is why we love that schools and businesses participate in our weaving movement, because it’s a great way to embed the values of safety, respect and trust across all levels of community.
Star weaving is a beautiful craft that many generations can participate in together. What ever language you speak, what ever faith you follow, when you learn to weave a star as your personal statement of solidarity, you become part of a global movement that wants to see an end to violence. We all know what it’s like to be part of a club, a membership or community. We seek out like minded people who have hope, who believe in working together, even though it’s hard work.
Learning how to weave a star is more than making a beautiful 8 pointed star that we can use for decoration. It represents our commitment to take action. It symbolises those first necessary steps, that violence is a big issue for all of us to deal with and that we can start by focussing on the relationships and people around us. Star weaving helps us to reach out to others in our community who might be strangers, to say “hey, I hope you’re ok. This is a really important conversation, I hope we can make a difference together.”
Whether you’re a seasoned star weaver or new to this movement, you are welcome.
“Community” is all of us, those who mirror our values and habits and those who are on the exact opposite of who we are. This is who we need to work with. How can we do this? Can art and craft help us to weave a bridge to come together to make? Lots of questions to think about as we learn to weave a star and as we reach out and teach others.
Starting with 4 strands, let’s learn together how to make an 8 pointed star.
Cut 4 equal lengths of ribbon, fold in half and crease. The lengths we use are at least 40cm and can be as long as 55cm. We found that 40cm means we don’t have any extra left over cutting down on waste.
Slide on folded strand (blue) over the left folded strand. (orange)
Wrap the 3rd (yellow) strand around the blue horizontal strand. Ensure the fold of the yellow ribbon is at the bottom.
Wrap the 4th (pink) strand around the yellow strand and insert both pink ends through the orange loop. Pull the pink strands all the way to the left.
Flip your woven cross over and fold the top left (orange) strand down and crease.
Going anti-clockwise, fold one strand on the left (pink) over to the right and crease.
Continue next with one yellow folding up and then the blue over to the left and under the orange.
Make your first point with top right strand. Fold under to the right to crease.
Fold forward and down to make a larger triangle & crease.
Fold larger triangle in half then thread through blue pocket. If your left over length is long, you can carefully trim this away.
Repeat these points on every second strand til you have 4 points on this side.
Now flip your star over and complete the last 4 points on this side (steps 8-10)
Well done! You’ve made your first woven star.
Want to put this learning into action? Buy one of our star weaving kits or book a star weaving workshop with us today.
“We are raising awareness of domestic abuse and healthy and unhealthy relationships. We stand together in solidarity against violence.” – @irelandstarweavers
I continue to marvel at the woven star installations and activations that are happening around the world. One Billion Stars workshops and displays are blossoming in parts of the globe that I could only dream of visiting. And with our new reality of needing to physically distance to reduce the spread of COVID, star weaving is the kind of activity that anyone can pick and participate anywhere, anytime. All you need are star weaving materials, access to our video tutorial or pdf instructions.
Some of these communities have embraced the stars so much, that they have written to ask if they can be translated into some of their local languages, including Japanese and Syrian. Some communities have created their own videos of star weaving instructions using locally sourced materials.
The stars reaching across the world is largely due to the inclusive, gentle therapy that star weaving evokes. It’s no secret that the One Billion Stars project is a multi-layered project.
Some people are attracted to star weaving for one or more reasons:
It allows people to unite to end violence against women and other forms of violence such as bullying and racism.
Star weaving also encourages better mental health by offering a calm, repetitive activity.
It also represents Pasifika culture or connects us back to our own cultural memories of making and craft. Star weaving is an opportunity to remember the weaving crafts that many of our ancestors practised to make practical objects for the home and everyday life, but also for performances, dances, ceremonies, and decoration.
The stars are also about actively building community cohesion or connectedness by inviting people, often strangers to come and partake in a hands on activity. The main objective is to make a star in your own time.
There is also the element of talanoaga, of story telling. Star weaving honours the fact that everyone has a story to tell and listening is the most powerful thing we can do to help others heal.
Over the last 9 years years, I have witnessed people relax and start conversation without any prompts.
Being in Auckland for VTABS recently, I experienced how refreshing it is to have live conversations with each other, and not through the lens of our devices or social media platforms. The conversations were open, honest and without filters. They are often uplifting and full of laughter. I saw people feeling encouraged to discuss ideas, tried and tested solutions, sharing hopes and dreams for the future. There is also a safe silence which is meditative and comforting to some of our star weavers.
We are weaving stars, having conversations and we are connecting to a basic desire which is to make and be in respectful relationship with others in our communities. We are building communities from the bottom-up. We are empowering ourselves to create a social movement based on our terms and in our spaces. We are practising what it means to be in community, with people like us, with people who are polar opposites and with those whose paths we may have never crossed if not for the Samoan and Pasifika practise of weaving.
One of the star weaving communities that continues to inspire me are the Ireland Star Weavers, led by Siobhán McQuillan. They have an instagram page and facebook page that you can follow as well to keep up to date.
Currently at the Medieval Mile Museum, in Kilkenny Ireland, there is a stunning installation of oversized steel letters that spell the word L O V E. These 2 meter steel letters were created and donated by JM Steel Cuffesgrange, Kilkenny for Amber Women’s Refuge. They are being filled with woven stars by locals who have been impacted by domestic violence and who believe that people coming together to weave stars can unite against all forms of violence, including violence against women, bullying and racism. These star weavers are members of the community for Amber Women’s Refuge One Million Stars Ireland.
These words were first displayed at Macdonagh Junction Shopping Centre during the 16 Days of Activism last year, Nov 16 to Dec 1. They remained on display over the Christmas holiday beneath a beautiful installation of 10,000 woven stars.
I even had the privilege of joining them on Nov 27th last year via zoom, to talk to them and wish them well on their star weaving journey.
Last week these star letters were at Kilkenny City Hall, each star a symbol of light, hope and solidarity to end violence and before that they were at Kilkenny Castle.
In August last year, their exhibition CONNECTED formed part of Design and Craft Council of Irelands Sculpture Trail. 3,000 stars woven during the first lockdown were displayed in The Medieval Mile Museum as a symbolic representation of a connected community in solidarity against all forms of violence.
These active star weavers are also partnering with local businesses to display woven stars in their shop windows to promote the message of standing together against domestic violence. #amberstarhost
What Ireland Star Weavers have achieved to date fills me with joy and inspires new star weavers around the world to join in and make change.
Their commitment to bring people together and to keep the conversation of ending domestic violence alive is energising. You can read a short testimonial from Siobhán here.
There is so much great literature out in the world about the what makes a social movement successful and the benefits of the arts on mental health.
This is one example:
“The practices of successful movements grow their grassroots, strengthen their movement’s momentum with connection, collaboration, and small wins, and ripple out to activate more individuals, communities, and organizations. These practices include building grassroots momentum, assembling networked movements, being leaderful, broadening the network by forming coalitions of organizations, and winning hearts and minds. “ – Together We Rise: How Social Movements Succeed.*
If we are to make a lasting impact on domestic violence, racism, bullying and inequities, then we need to create social movements that help all of us to rise. Where ever we are in the world, if we can do something that keeps us accountable and part of a movement that can be embraced by communities to lead it themselves, this is success. This is what drives us at One Billion Stars.
Power to the People.
Star weaving in solidarity. Always.
* Gia Nardini. University of Denver
Tracy Rank-Christman. University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Melissa G. Bublitz. University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
Samantha N. N. Cross. Iowa State University
Laura A. Peracchio. University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of doing an interview with The Big Idea NZ about One Billion Stars and Vaka to A Billion Stars at Silo 6, Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland.
I had a few hours to pass before my international flight back home and I was still on a high from weaving with Reina and Luana from Auckland Council.
Depending on the questions, there’s always new information to dig out about the Project. What was my main goal, how many stars have I woven in total to date, and will I ever grow tired of weaving stars?
Let me be clear, I will never get sick of weaving stars. It will be something I do for the rest of my life : )
If I could speak to my 8 year old self, I’d want to tell her to not give up hope. That, focussing on something you love can be your super power to helping others.
I’d tell her to always draw on her love for family, friends, and culture. Especially for her family’s upcoming move to Australia. It will be tough but the love she feels from others will serve as motivation to explore the arts and its role in healing and connection.
I was thinking about this in preparation for my trip to Tāmaki Makaurau. So, of course, I imagined I was talking to her when I was answering some of these questions.
This must be one the most refreshing interviews I’ve done about the project. It’s probably because I’m speaking to a new audience, so there are burning questions and ideas of “weaving” that others want to explore.
The biggest take away was being able to talk about One Billion Stars in relation to Matariki Festival. Thinking about the shared values of the Māori New Year and star weaving was enlightening. It also points to our collective goal to create connection and belonging.
In the interview with Sam Ackerman, I explain
“I think we all crave hope, joy and purpose, at least that’s how I’ve experienced people when I sit and weave and chat with them. Most people just want to share their story and have someone listen. Time – it’s one of the most priceless gifts you can give another human being and star weaving or teaching someone to weave a star, is all about time and being present with someone. Magic happens when you can give someone time and true investment.”
This interview also comes at a time when I want to write more about this star weaving journey. No overthinking, just write and reflect.
One of things I have been reflecting on, are the memories of travel and star weaving in person. For many of our communities around the world, weaving in person is not a possibility. COVID has meant that many of our star weavers have had to run weaving workshops online, like our star weavers in Ireland and Texas. I’m amazed at their perserverance. We will find a way to connect, whether it’s online on physically distancing. Anything to ensure each other’s safety.
I saw an image of a dear friend on social media, who visited the stars in Silo 6 recently. It reminded me of the time I visited Rarotonga to an island full of generous hosts. I got to weave stars with amazing locals including Kuki Airani’anau, Merita Wi, Amelia Borofsky and Teina Mack.
This star weaving journey is bringing more people together. We are creating a galaxy of relationships and connections.
Ever wondered how people add fancy finishes to their woven star?
Or, maybe you’ve seen a woven star that has some fancy finishes to it and you’re like, “how did they do that?”
If you’re a passionate star weaver like me : ) you’ll want to learn all the techniques, tips and tricks to weave the most beautiful star your hands ever did make.
And why not, we have a goal of weaving one billion stars, so there’s plenty of opportunities to practice and experiment!
If you’re in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland and you’re keen to have a go at some of these finishes, head on down to Silo 6, Silo Park. You’ll find Vaka to A Billion Stars up until next Sunday 18th July.
There you’ll find trestle tables, pre-cut ribbon and my star weaving tutorial to help you make the star.
Once you’re done, follow these simple instructions to make new folds that make your star stand out!
Go on, give it a try, it’s so fun! You might come with a new design yourself. If you do, make sure to share it with us on social media.
Tag us on Instagram @weave_onebillionstars or facebook @onebillionstars. Don’t forget to use the hashtag #VTABS
Please note: These folds also depend on how long the strands are after you’ve made all of your 8 points.
You might have to cut a little bit off the end if it’s way too long.
Most of the stars will have longer strands on one side – this is normal. You can still create funky folds with shorter ends. The options are endless!
Here are our top 3:
You may need scissors to cut the end, or just fold the strand end again and tuck it in.
Step 1. Fold your strand away from the star on an angle. Crease into place.
Step 2: Fold along this new fold/line to make a small triangle.
Step 3: Tuck the end back into the pocket above.
Step 4: Repeat this with the remaining 3 strands.
Step 1: Fold strand away from the star on an angle
Step 2: Fold along this new fold to make a triangle
Step 3: Tuck the end back into the purple pocket
Step 1: Fold a strand up over the pocket above it.
Step 2: Fold the strand on an angle towards the next pocket to make a right angle triangle.
Step 3: Tuck the end into the pocket underneath.
Step 4: Repeat this with the remaining 3 strands.
This is one of my favourites, because you get to mix the colours of your ribbons with each other, giving it a another dimension : )
They even look great when you use four strands of ribbon that are the same colour.
It adds another dimension to your star.
Remember, you can take to your star with a fine tip marker or pens to add patterns and designs to your finished woven star.
Step 1: Fold strand over pocket above
Step 2: Fold strand on an angle
Step 3: Tuck the end into the pocket above
Step 1: Take the end of a strand and tuck it back over itself into the same pocket.
Step 2: Depending on how long your strand is, leave it as a folded loop
Step 3: Continue around your star, tucking each strand back into the pocket.
Technique 3. Part ii:
Step 1: You can also choose to crease the fold of the ribbon when folding it back into itself. That makes a cool effect as well.
There are so many ways to finish to your star, and it’s great for those that finish their star quickly and want another challenge.
Remember, you can have markers available for people to write their names on their stars, or the names of loved ones or just messages for people who will see their stars.
Some people have written names, messages like “Everyone is Welcome” or ”Love” and “Be Kind.” Some have even drawn beautiful patterns on their stars.
Step 1: Take end and tuck into pocket above
Step 2: Continue around your star tucking in each end
Make sure you check out the different stars and coloured ribbon combinations that locals in Auckland have made for Vaka to A Billion Stars. They are so beautiful and clever, and they are the exact same stars which are used in the installation of 300,000 stars.
Here’s the details again, in case you missed it:
Vaka to A Billion Stars is part of Matariki Festival and proudly brought to you by Auckland Council with support by Panuku Development Auckland.
FREE PUBLIC PROGRAMMES
7 July – 11 July (Wed – Sun). 12pm – 4pm. Weave A Star drop-in Session
14 July – 18 July (Wed – Sun) 12pm – 4pm. Weave A Star drop-in Session
Tag us on social media using #VTABS
VAKA TO A BILLION STARS | Gallery Space
A curated space created to awhi the 300,000+ stars while they visit Tāmaki Makaurau
Celestial body…never set foot on eart…never needed to.
Not a Sun_Tagaloa-La_worshipper…especially after he impregnated Magamagafatua_Luai and Luana’a…prefers the Moon for company…Maaina…but not when she is full…Aofasa…as things tend to get a bit highly strung around that time.
Venus is good fun. Now she has stopped consuming me. But not in the morning…Fetoao…but when she comes out first thing at night…Tapu’itea…her penance is done. And she is ready for some fun.
The Long share,,Māngōroa…is an ancestor and faithful companion found in the dark matter of the Milky Way..O le ‘Aniva…they are always together. Anchored to the West…Lagi e aumuli…watch them. As they drop our of the night.
WEAVE A STAR WITH MARYANN | Workstation
A workspace where you can learn to weave a star and features two video works which have been invited to awhi the kaupapa of the One Billion Stars project by Maryann Talia Pau
A performance piece dedicated by Nahora to the LGBTQIA+ community of Rarotonga and specifically created in response to the criminalisation of homosexuality in the Cook Islands and a beautiful gesture of standing in solidarity with her community.
An homage to the Babaylan. Biaaya pre-colonial queer ancestors. Keepers of traditonal and knowledge, ritual leaders, healers, and spirit link to the divine. Demonised and violently erased by the Catholic Spanish invaders. May you live forever in our spirit and memory.
Weave a Star. Start a Conversation.
Can’t make the workshops? All good, we got you. You can weave your own stars at home, using our star weaving kits online. Choose between 50 and 100 stars.
Our 50 star weaving kit is great for a work lunch time activity with colleagues or an after school activity.
Each kit comes with easy to follow instructions or you can use our tutorial video. Inside you’ll also find colourful ribbon cut to length and a message of thanks from us.
We want to make it super easy for people to enjoy this ancient Pasifika craft and be part of a growing tribe of star weavers who are committed to ending violence.
Our 100 star weaving kit is a great gift for your local community, an opportunity to bring people together over weaving and food. Like our 50 star weaving kit, included are paper instructions, pre-cut ribbon for weaving stars and stickers.
Today I’m running a star weaving workshop and an artist talk for Vaka to A Billion Stars.
It’s my last one before I return home. Open to the public, materials are free and all are welcome. The workshop is wheelchair accessible and suitable for ages 7 years and above.
Drop in between 1pm – 3pm, Wednesday 30th June. Silo 6, Silo Park, Wynyard Quarter. Auckland.
This week, I’ll be making my way across the moana to Tāmaki Makaurau / Auckland Aotearoa New Zealand.
I’ll be launching a woven star installation of over 300,000 stars at Silo 6, Silo Park. Excited!
It feels surreal, preparing for international travel. The last time I flew overseas was home to Samoa before travel bans took place for community safety.
I haven’t been back for almost 2 years. And like many who have been separated from loved ones, it has been challenging for my mental health.
During these times of physical distancing, star weaving has been more than a meaningful Pacific Island and Indigenous weaving craft for social change.
Weaving is my therapy and important for my wellbeing and community connection.
I’ve even taken up outrigger canoeing, just as my ancestors have done before me! Every time I paddle, I know that across this ocean are my family. Even though I can’t be with them, I know that they are safe and well. When the time is right, we can all travel home.
For those of you who don’t know, I grew up in Tāmaki Makaurau and did most of my primary schooling there.
Looking back as an adult and now mother of school children, I have many happy memories of learning and playing as a child.
Before I understood what racism, sexism, violence and discrimination was, I had teachers that helped me believe that I could do any profession. The only barrier was my attitude and application.
These teachers made learning fun and rewarding and encouraged me to try all kinds of things with a spirit of enthusiasm and excellence. I enjoyed performing and singing in the school play, inter-school sports and leadership roles. I also loved volunteering to do before and after school pedestrian crossing (one of my favourite things to do at school : ) science and maths.
I’m excited to return to my other home, Aotearoa, Land of the Long White Cloud.
This has been a long time of dreaming and a few months in the making, working with Reina Sutton and Auckland Council. And how special that the stars will be on display during the Matariki Festival, which is currently on between 19 June – 11 July 2021.
Matariki is the Māori New Year and is celebrated annually across Aotearoa.
This particular New Year Festival celebrates all the things that One Billion Stars values, acknowledging timeless relationships between creation, sky, land, waters and people and celebrating our connection to each other and the possibilities for healing, empathy and progress.
“The Rise of Matariki in the winter skies above Aotearoa is an important time in the Māori calendar, as it signifies the start of the Māori new year. For Māori, astronomy was interwoven into all facets of life.
Experts would observe the night sky, charting star and planet movements, the relationship of the stars and planets to the moon and sun, while also noting what was happening on the whenua (land) and in the moana (ocean), lakes and awa (rivers). All of these celestial star beings were attributed qualities and named accordingly, and their stories were woven into the history of the people.
Historically, new year celebrations provided the opportunity for whanau to come together to acknowledge the year gone by, prepare and plan for the year ahead; to celebrate with kai, korero, ceremony and entertainment. For a time, these celebrations were only acknowledged and celebrated by iwi, but at the beginning of the 21 st century a cultural renaissance occurred, making knowledge of this special time of the year an important part of New Zealand’s history.
Today, everyone in Aotearoa can celebrate the unique places we live in, show respect for the land we live on, and to share and grow together through traditions that continue each year, with the support of kaupapa like Matariki Festival.” – Matariki Festival
The timing of the stars in Auckland for Matariki Festival feels like a second wind, a chance to action some fresh creative ideas and muster up some more courage to try new things before the end of 2021.
These weaving communities continue to build momentum and impact lives for the better.
My hope is that by creating more woven star installations around the world for communities to engage with and contribute to, they will help remind us that we can each make positive change.
Working together makes the work less daunting, less impossible, and more joyful. Bringing people together, finding common ground and building cultures of respect is so possible. It can also be fun! This is what star weaving for the One Billion Stars movement has taught us.
If you are in Auckland, please drop in with your friends, work or school communities to see Vaka to A Billion Stars.
Be a part of the journey to weave one billion stars by taking part in their free workshops and public programmes. Everyone is welcome. #VTABS
You don’t have to be in Auckland to enjoy learning how to weave a star. Check out our star weaving kits that you can buy online to do in your own time or with colleagues and friends.
If you’d like to create a woven star installation in your workplace or centre, please contact us email@example.com. We can meet in person or via zoom to discuss workshops and installations.
Vaka to A Billion Stars When: Sunday 27 June – 18 July. Sunday 27 June. 2-4pm + Wednesday 30 June. 1-3pm Talanoa/Artist talk + star weaving workshop with Maryann Talia Pau. Where: Silo 6, Silo Park, Wynyard Quarter. Auckland City Cost: Free Suitable for: All ages
This installation is free, wheel chair accessible and family friendly. Please tag us in any of your star weaving photos using the hashtag #VTABS
It’s been almost 3 years since the One Million Stars woven Installation in King George Square Brisbane, during the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.
The memories of conversations, hugs and high fives for reaching such an incredible milestone and the stories of star weavers near and far, are still so vivid in my mind. It honestly feels like this moment was only a few days ago.
What continues to amaze me is that this movement of star weavers continues to grow and reach people across the world.
We received over 2.4 million stars in 2018 and another 1.5 million stars have been woven to date!
During these uncertain times of COVID19, where domestic violence has increased as well as fear and polarised views, the need to find connection and create healing and a way forward is being championed by the brave, including our star weavers.
Star weaving continues to be a simple and accessible process that will remain and continue to grow for some time.
Something has been activated in people across Australia, the South Pacific, my island home Samoa and Aotearoa New Zealand.
Many more countries around the world are weaving stars. Including Canada, USA, Kenya, Malaysia, Ireland, Cook Islands, Fiji, Tonga, England, Scotland, Barbados and Japan. And this year, I want to dig a bit deeper and find out what exactly it is, about weaving, culture and community building that drives this community.
I started this movement with an idea, almost 10 years ago. The goal and vision was to bring people together to weave one million stars, to attempt to reduce the amount of violence in our communities by creating safe, inclusive and naturally, diverse spaces using the ancient craft of weaving. Star weaving to be precise.
Why star weaving? Because it’s a craft I taught myself many years ago when I decided to become a visual artist who specialised in weaving. Back then, I aspired to become a Master weaver, a Tufuga Lalaga or Matua U’u but I now realise, the weaving and making of breastplates and body adornment was really my process for coming back to my Samoan culture and family, of connecting back to traditions, stories and relationships that feed my soul. Weaving set me on the path to find and build my tribe, my community, my sisterhood.
“Weaving helped me to connect to my island home and gave me the courage to explore and be myself, a creative who is excited by culture, business, the environment and equity.”
There is still lots of work to be done and so many of us who believe in hope, consistent effort and collaborations to create violence free communities. One Million Stars was the beginning, One Billion Stars is the next chapter.
Whether you’re new to the movement or have been a long time star weaver/believer, there is a growing need for stories of joy, hope and change and it has inspired me to go big with the stars. One Billion times bigger!
Join us, everyone is welcome. Let’s build more connected and resilient communities across the globe using the power, joy and therapy of star weaving.