What opens the way for a oneness with water?
Labyrinth is a site based ephemeral collective design and participatory experience. It is a reminding or re-minding that invites a reconnection with water.
Constructed at the interstitial space between a body of water and land, its design and aesthetic is informed by the materials on site and shaped by the involuntary art of nature through tidal shifts, wind and the localised, natural systems we encounter on site. In designing. building and walking the Labyrinth in situ with participants, the tempo of our thinking is shifted to produce a wellspring of ideas for transformative change in the context of our ‘water future’ while inviting a closer affinity with water.
Labyrinth came about during our first research residency with The Pump water future collective of artists, eminent scientist Nordin Hasan, and Filipino Performance Studies academic Jazmin Llana. In our climate change setting, where unpolluted water is a rapidly diminishing resource, we proposed that a labyrinth connecting land to waters was a way of thinking through what we could shift.
Labyrinth frames a sensory and contemplative experience; one that would celebrate water’s central importance as a vital resource and allows water to shape an aesthetic. In walking the labyrinth people, like the water, arrive at a central point where the water is ‘held’.
Our first Labyrinth draws from its connection to a local body of water in Southern New South Wales in Australia – the Bangalee (Shoalhaven River).
Remembering is not a continual flux, but for the Bangalee Labyrinth, where tidal flux affects the Bangalee’s flow and levels, its tidal action influenced the labyrinth, shaping it as its waters reached the labyrinth’s centre – and so too our thinking.
Labyrinth is a way of walking from a place of unknowingness to return with ideas while letting the water play an essential role in the shaping of things. In retracing the way in, we find a way out. In moving through, we think through. It is a mindful meandering through involution/evolution.
What might a local way of building Labyrinth and walking through a problem be as an experience? In our Climate Change/Water Future context, how might building Labyrinth and walking it invite people to consider their relationship with water? How can the local body of water shape Labyrinth? Can Labyrinth lead to a wellspring? Can Labyrinth shape a oneness with water?
Jude Anderson and Morwenna Schenck
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