I have decided to build a labyrinth, to celebrate confusion, disorientation and how these can be catalysts for shifts of perspective, change, creativity and joy. I want to do this through researching ideas around this architectural form and different cultural approaches and traditions, but also through attempting to create an actual labyrinth on a beach in Sri Lanka.
The labyrinth I have in my head is huge and before I start building it I knew I would need help.
After having an extremely helpful coaching-conversation with Joshua* on ways of inviting audiences and audience participation , I made big "I NEED HELP" signs and stuck them in beach bars and in our favourite coffee place in Hikkaduwa, Salty Swamis. The signs and flyers included dates, times and location of building so the public could easily find me. People seemed curious and were asking how, what, when and why. There was one thing that surprised me, they did not know what a labyrinth is! I had to draw labyrinths on papers, on the sand and with my finger, imaginary ones in the air and that made me re think of the structure I wanted my labyrinth to have.
What about wood?
Gamini, a local surf repairer, had an abandoned house in the jungle and gave me permission to go and collect as much wood as I needed. Ross, Lewis and I made our way there and carried a big amount of wood from the jungle to the beach. Then they went back to working on their own projects.
There I was, on the beach, ready to begin my building journey!
I started digging holes and sticking wood into the sand. It was hot but I was there and that was the first step. Nobody around seemed to bother so I decided to keep smiling, breathing and digging. At some point, the my eye caught five people approaching.
“Hi, are you Zoe?"
“Yes!”, I mumbled.
"Do you need help?”
Ι shouted and jumped up and hugged all of them one by one! “Thank you for stopping by!”
I felt grateful and happy for having people stopping by. At that moment, somehow, the impossible task of building a labyrinth on a beach seemed completely sensible and possible. Although Fatiha and her friends were on holiday, they came, dug wholes in the boiling sand under the even more boiling sun not one but two days in a row, for which I am deeply thankful. With all their precious help, the labyrinth took its initial form!
Building and chatting and building and chatting we kept going until the sun decided to set. And that day, the sunset was beautiful. The labyrinth was on its feet and I was filled with bliss, energy and optimism.
The art of sharing, of collaborating, the satisfaction of making something with others, precious and difficult to put into words.
Enjoy your way to becoming labyrinth and be ready for when the Minotaur visits.
* Joshua Sofaer (joshuasofaer.com)
my fellow artist in residence
whose work involves audience participation
and whose practice focuses on
the relationship between the artist, the artwork and the audience.
**Pictures displayed here are taken by
my fellow artist in residence
Mary Genis (culturemixarts.co.uk)