‘Love your Campus’: draw your own labyrinth

silver labyrinth

‘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.

Jan Sellers

Love your Campus artists 1 Love your Campus artists 2 Love your Campus artists 3

Labyrinths from Glen and Rebecca

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.
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“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

Walking the Labyrinth in Lincoln Cathedral

The Lincoln ‘Ermine Street’ Labyrinth was set out in the dramatic setting of Lincoln Cathedral on 29th September by Lincoln University Chaplain Les Acklam. This was part of an activity day for pupils from special needs schools from across the county.  Two workshops were held for two groups of a dozen pupils who enjoyed the experience of walking the labyrinth and were intrigued by its design and history.

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Di Williams

Di Williams in front of the Edinburgh Labyrinth
Di Williams in front of the Edinburgh Labyrinth

“It was a delight to be launched as the first Veriditas Master Teacher for the UK at the first ever Veriditas Facilitator Training event held in this country.  It was a personal privilege to teach a wonderfully experienced and skilled group.  Together, we have taken a step along the path of deepening the labyrinth work already happening in the UK.  I am excited at all that is to come”.

‘UK Veriditas Master Teacher and Labyrinth Consultant, Rev Di Williams.   http://www.diwilliams.com/index.html

Journeys Through the Labyrinth Workshop; September 2010

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‘Journeys through the Labyrinth’ workshop, under the University of Kent’s Creative Campus initiative, was an opportunity to learn more about the labyrinth and its use as a blueprint for a journey – whether through work, study, or major life decisions and transitions. The day included exploration of the history, meaning and impact of labyrinths in the world today, with a focus on reflection, creativity and spiritual development. As well as background information, and small and large group discussions, there were opportunities to walk both indoor and outdoor labyrinths in a day of personal journaling and reflection. The workshop was led by Lauren Artress, an Episcopal priest in the State of California and Founder and Creative Director of VeriditasJan Sellers, whose National Teacher Fellow project supported the creation of the beautiful Canterbury Labyrinth in the grounds of the University of Kent (see the picture gallery above) managed the event which doubled up as a pre-qualifying workshop for the labyrinth facilitator training weekend that followed. This training was led by Di Williams, Anglican minister and currently Chaplain at the University of Edinburgh. In 2008 Di was awarded an MBE for services to higher education including her interfaith and labyrinth work in Chaplaincy. Di is also a Veriditas Master Teacher and author of the book ‘Labyrinth – landscape of the Soul’ available at www.diwilliams.com 0r di@diwilliams.com Futher information about the University of Edinbugh Labyrinth can be found here on the Labyrinth Projects page.

The Canterbury Labyrinth is beautifully situated on the side of a wooded hill that looks down towards Canterbury Cathedral. The parallels with historical accounts of pilgrimage, in particular Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, makes the concept of taking time out for journeying and personal reflection even more appropriate.

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Welcome to the Walking the Labyrinth blog hosted by the University of Lincoln. This was created to support the growing interest for the use of labyrinths in teaching and learning in higher education. As well as this home page, the blog has four other areas; Labyrinth projects, Legends,  Links and the Gallery. Please explore the contents and feel free to click the Comment link below and make a contribution.

The origin of the labyrinth is shrouded in myth but the symbol appears to have ancient origins and in the 21st centruy people are rediscovering that walking a labyrinths can have many benefits. These include relaxation, stress or anger management, spiritual development, or simply to relax and take a quiet meditative break in the middle of a busy day with time out for oneself.

The use of the labyrinth as a teaching and learning resource has been led by Jan Sellers at the University of Kent, following on from the work of Di Williams at the University of Edinbugh.  Jan says “A labyrinth walk or workshop can contribute to modules and programmes and to personal and professional development in a variety of ways, adaptable for students and/or staff. Examples include: creativity (Creative Writing; Dance); reflection (MBA students; strategic planning); exploring values (educational development); reflection on a life journey or on experience and aspirations (any discipline).”  Click this link for futher details.

This Walking the Labryinth online information and support network is being developed by Sue Watling, Learning and Teaching Coordinator at the University of Lincoln. For any queries about this area please contact Sue on swatling@lincoln.ac.uk

The banner picture is by Jim Higham and shows the Canterbury Labyrinth in heavy frost at dawn on a crisp winter morning.