Title: Labyrinth of Love and Survival

| 492

I have walked labyrinths for many years as a form of meditation, a mile or so sometimes. It is also possible to ‘walk’ a labyrinth with your eyes or trace it with your fingers. I have been working on different kinds of small labyrinths since last summer as a way of exploring the challenges I face in my life asking myself various questions: Is there a way through this situation? Where do I go from here? What is the best way out of this mess? My journey with labyrinths has been one of discovering the different ways I can ‘walk’ through them, discovering, exploring or remembering things about my life, feelings, moods; & reflecting on changes & challenges in my everyday experiences. So, in some ways, each of my labyrinths is a self-portrait. All my labyrinths have a way through them, although at first it may not seem clear; the labyrinth may seem chaotic & random. But in fact, there is a way through, although it is possible to get confused. My labyrinths are made of found objects – often driftwood or plastic detritus found on beaches. Both the wood and the plastic have been smoothed by the continual movement of water across their surfaces and therefore their original shapes have been softened. I imagine the sea, across which these objects have floated, as a vast memory bank. When I walk along a beach and find these bits and pieces thrown up randomly on the shore I pick them up and construct them together into new meanings, very much like the action of the mind on memory. I shape them into the labyrinth form as a way of expressing my idea that we permanently reconstruct the past, our memories, into a narrative journey, sometimes meaningful, sometimes puzzling and challenging.