By Jessica Howard
Ballan will be seen in a different light this month as fluorescent art and decorations transform the facades of over 30 shopfronts.
Black Nite Black Lite is an inaugural winter event organised and hosted by the Wombat’s Regional Arts Network.
The week-long event will see the main street shopfronts decorated with fluorescent fabrics, paints and artworks and set alight under ultraviolent black lights.
Wombat’s Regional Arts Network secretary, Sarah Peckham said the Wombat’s had spent a week in local primary schools, making fluorescent art with the students.
“With all the primary kids in town, there’d be over 100 hundred artists that have contributed to the project,” she said.
“The idea is that the event will be held during the really dark and quite miserable time of winter. When the sun comes down, the black lights go on and the whole Main Street will come alive, hopefully allowing the town to have a bit of fun”.
Ms Peckham said the event idea sparked from a previous workshop held by the Wombat’s at Ballan Primary School.
“We held a workshop with glow-in-the-dark and fluorescent paint and one day we went into the school’s store room with our piece of artwork and we turned a black light on to see what would happen.
“Not only did our art work go bing, but so did all of these other fluorescent things, like tennis balls and sticky tape. It was amazing. There was about eight of us running around the little store room saying, ‘Look at this!’ or Look at that!’ and Lou Callow said, ‘We have just got to share this’, and so here we are”.
Black Nite Black Lite will kick off at 5:30pm on Saturday June 17, outside the Ballan Mechanics Hall.
A family friendly tour will be guided by Kevin Harper, from the Ballan Autumn Festival, alongside Tom the Juggler and musician Leon Conroy.
Inside the Mechanics Hall will be a Spektraflash Lighting show, which Ms Peckham said would imitate a lava lamp.
The Ballan Country Women’s Association will be providing a soup kitchen, alongside live music at the Ballan RSL Hall. Local food vendors will also be open for dinner options.
Ms Peckham said the shop displays would come alive all week from 5:30pm to 10pm.
“As usual, the Inglis Street traders have been wonderfully supportive.
“Almost everyone with a window is sponsoring something in it, and some are creating their own”.
The closing event will see the Ballan Mechanics Hall open from 7pm, with local bands and BYO nibbles and drinks. Bookings are essential on 0407 506 621.