A not-for-profit project sharing heart, hope and solidarity across communities has made its way to Ballarat.
The 'V for Victory' campaign predominantly fills print and digital advertising spaces to help lift community spirit and celebrate togetherness.
Former Federation University graphic design student Charlie Ryan created the project in response to Victoria's second and toughest COVID-19 lockdown restrictions in August last year.
He said it was great to be able to share the project within Ballarat, with the digital billboard on the corner of Sturt and Albert streets displaying the uplifting and unifying messages.
The Melbourne-based artist lived in an Albert Street apartment, behind the billboard, when he studied in Ballarat from 2003 to 2008.
The creation of 'V for Victori (Victori-a, Victori-aus)' up-cycles Winston Churchill's 'v for victory' sign and peace symbol of the 1960s and 1970s.
This was repurposed in Mr Ryan's artwork to represent a united fight for victory against COVID-19 and its greater flow-on effects across the greater community.
"It's something to remind us that we're not alone, but all in this together. With a safe, simple and unifying hand gesture we can send a message of heart and hope across Australia and beyond," Mr Ryan said.
"With these billboards it's been amazing getting them to regional areas. Having lived in Ballarat and now living in a smaller town, I think you always feel a bit left out in country towns, so that's the idea, connecting through a consistent mutual project."
Earlier in the project, Mr Ryan shared his designs on social media and got his Ballarat friends to distribute street posters across the city.
The campaign evolved and the messages have been distributed and shared on streets and screens across Australia, including Sydney, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Adelaide and Melbourne.
Regional towns include Geelong, Wangaratta, Traralgon, Shepparton, Warrnambool and Ballarat.
"It's another positive message in amongst the negativity so for people it could just make them smile to brighten up their day or push them to keep going," Mr Ryan said.
"It's been a humbling experience."
The design began with the shape of Victoria as the palm of the hand, and has now been upgraded with the bottom half of the Australian continent.
It's vibrant palette represents the official colours of all Australian Commonwealth flags, states and territories.
Media companies, Total Outdoor Media and QMS Media, have donated hundreds of digital billboards to share the campaign artwork.
"They have been phenomenal in helping share this project and the message that goes with it," Mr Ryan said.
The 'V for Victory' project has been completely self-funded, relying on the generosity of private donations on its Go Fund Me page and from the sales from official prints and merchandise.
To support the project visit www.charlieryan.com.au
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