Thursday, May 12, 2011

The Rich Symbology of Labyrinths

Labyrinths have found their way into my artwork for the last year or more. I like to use them in two ways: as symbols of wholeness, and then the reverse: when chopped and broken, to reflect the disharmony of our modern world. For me, labyrinths are both simple and complex. I have been powerfully drawn to labyrinths since I first set foot on one in the late 1990s.

My favorite labyrinth in the Houston area is located at the University of St Thomas, next to the St. Basil's chapel. What makes walking this labyrinth particularly pleasant is not only the wonderful stone inlay work, but also the ambiance. There are some lovely rose bushes encircling the labyrinth as well as three fountains spouting water, which help to drown out any traffic noises on nearby Alabama Street. Walking a labyrinth can be a form of spiritual practice, prayer or meditation. Lauren Artress, author and renowned labyrinth facilitator refers to the labyrinth as a watering hole for the spirit. Her book, Walking a Sacred Path: Rediscovering the Labyrinth as a Spiritual Tool (Riverhead, 1995 and revised edition 2006) is essential reading on the topic.

To find a labyrinth near you, go to the Labyrinth Locator website. To learn more about labyrinths, visit The Labyrinth Society or Veriditas websites.

collages by KAO: Labyrinthia 1, Broken Labyrinth #5, The Path to the Labyrinth.


Gail Storey said...

Keddy, your art including labyrinths is provocative and lovely, along with your comment about labyrinths whole and broken. Thanks for this post and your others--what a great blog!

LoneStarLibrarian said...

Glad you enjoyed this, Gail, and I count myself lucky to have you as a reader!

Hilde said...

I really like these designs you've done.