Posted on October 26th, 2010 by Sue Watling
Jeff and Kimberly Saward visited the University of Kent earlier this year for a lively seminar and a practical introduction to labyrinth-making –on the cheap! We started with an introduction to the history of labyrinths, followed by an opportunity to draw many different seed patterns. Then it was out to the chosen site, to see what we could do.
We set out to create a seven-circuit classical labyrinth from chopped corn (chickenfeed). The instructions can be found on Jeff and Kimberly’s Labyrinthos website, http://www.labyrinthos.net/layout.html This includes more photos of the process – mostly showing the team doubled up in concentration. Thanks are due to the Grounds Maintenance Team who recommended the site and made sure the grass was newly mown, and to the Biosciences Office who found a room for the photographer, looking down on the event as it proceeded!
The most time-consuming part was choosing the exact starting point, and laying out the seed pattern. For example, we needed to ensure that the completed labyrinth would be well clear of a grassy ditch and a paved footpath. Then the team was divided into runners and walkers. The walkers spaced ourselves out along a rope with ribbons marking our designated places (see the instructions). Each of us had a scoop (plastic bottle, trimmed to shape) full of chickenfeed ready to pour on the ground – it was the job of the runners to keep our scoops topped up. The rope was taut, pegged down at one end – we followed the rope, each of us pouring a narrow line of corn as we went, following the line that our individual ribbon traversed over the ground. Within 20 minutes we had a beautifully constructed labyrinth – ready to walk, run, dance…
This highly enjoyable day was a Creative Campus event at the University of Kent and was funded through my National Teaching Fellowship. It provided training for three different groups: volunteers from a primary school, labyrinth enthusiasts at the University, and staff and students from the University’s School of Arts who planned to use the labyrinth in a subsequent dance event. Photos include the expert clearing-up carried out by a campus resident.
Posted on October 26th, 2010 by Sue Watling
‘Love Your Campus’ is the theme of a new series of lunch-time events for students and staff at the University of Kent, part of the University’s Creative Campus. This Wednesday I led a craft session – first time I’d done this and I can report that glitter glue is a real asset!
This was a drop-in session, and anyone passing by was invited to join in, with the invitation to learn how to draw a labyrinth in five minutes and make a labyrinth to take away. I had a supply of craft materials – beads, card, paper, modelling clay, colouring pens and so on. Using a seven-circuit classical labyrinth, I made two examples on card, one with woven strips of paper and one that was just glitter glue, squeezed out of the tube like toothpaste. Students really took to this and once they had a sense of ownership of the classical design (see Labyrinthos website, http://www.labyrinthos.net/layout.html) they began to explore all sorts of possibilities – including one Architecture student who discovered Baltic, three- and five-pointed seed patterns for himself. The photos show work in progress and some completed works of art.
Posted on October 18th, 2010 by Sue Watling
I was delighted to hear from Glen Robinson, Graphic Design lecturer at the University of Lincoln, about the labyrinths he and his friends have been building. Glen has kindly provided this link to more pictures on Flickr and the text below.
“The artists collaboration GRRR and any friends they can talk into helping have been quietly building labyrinths in the sand on Lincolnshire beaches and in fields of snow for a couple of years now.‘We feel the process of making a labyrinth is an expression of coalescence with nature, to attain coherence with our surroundings and resonate with an ancient symbol. The ephemeral quality of using materials or building in environments where nature will “take back” is an interesting process for artists to explore and working in public often creates an opportunity to discuss the symbol’s design and origin with passers by, who are encouraged to walk the path, although the labyrinths we build are primarily for personal reflection and relaxation; a token of the unbounded potential of everything”.
GRRR – Glen & Rebecca