Sturt Street gets a Japanese Christmas makeover

A PUBLIC art installation is set to add a uniquely Japanese flavour to this year’s popular Sturt Street Christmas display.

Contemporary ikebana artist Shoso Shimbo is breathing new life into the Ballarat City Council’s Christmas decorations by transforming the Burke and Wills fountain into a tunnel of bamboo and baubles.

Shimbo was commissioned by the council to create a unique display acknowledging the 25th anniversary of Ballarat’s relationship with Japanese sister city Inagawa.

Made of recycled materials, including old baubles and Christmas posters, the tunnel will be a place of tranquility and relaxation in the 300 block this silly season.

“If you walk through you can hear the sound of water,” Shimbo said. “I wanted to do a mix of western tradition and eastern cultures.

“I included lots of Japanese design principals.”

Titled Art of Christmas, the installation also features solar lights to light up at night and will officially open as part of tomorrow’s  City of Ballarat Christmas Street Party.

City of Ballarat portfolio councillor for destination and economy Peter Innes said he and councillor Amy Johnson would be interviewing children about Christmas as part of the festivities on the evening.

“It’s just a matter of getting people in and enjoying Camp Street,” Cr Innes said.

“There will be lots of kids’ activities and lots of food.”

The evening of free entertainment and activities is on tomorrow from 5.30pm to 8.30pm at Alfred Deakin Place in Camp Street.

Ballarat’s Christmas cheer continues throughout December with merry elves handing out festive goodies on Fridays and Saturdays between 11am and 2pm.

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