LJMU Labyrinth at World Museum
20 April 2012
LJMU's creative facilitation environment, The Automatic is installing a 'Wishing Labyrinth' at Liverpool's World Museum on 21 and 22 April.
The labyrinth - an ancient, reflective path – has been utilised more and more in recent years as a development tool for individuals and teams. LJMU's Liverpool Screen School has been using a 30ft diameter, portable canvas labyrinth for structured reflection and for fostering creativity with staff and students and last year this labyrinth was successfully used as part of the final day of a leadership course for Small to Medium Sized Enterprise owners hosted in The Automatic.
Such was the positive reaction that The Automatic team decided to develop workshops around the labyrinth for clients from the public, private and social sectors, designed to meet their specific needs. A recent session with a global manufacturing company saw The Automatic team using a labyrinth session as part of a four day European Career Development session for European managers. The Automatic team also recently built and facilitated a candle lit labyrinth for Bury Council’s 'Light Night' festival. The event was a sure-fire hit, attracting nearly 2,000 visitors to 'walk' the labyrinth.
As well as an opportunity to walk the labyrinth at the World Museum, there will be interactive elements for visitors including drawing labyrinths and themed craftwork. A Wishing Tree will be at the centre of the labyrinth where children are invited to hang their wishes written on crafted leaves. Students from the Liverpool Screen School will help facilitate the craftwork and the weekend labyrinth event.
Originating thousands of years ago and found in traditions across the world, the labyrinth archetype crosses all cultural and religious boundaries making it an ideal focus for an exhibit in the World Museum. The symbol of the labyrinth can be found scratched on cave walls over 4,000 years old, on Roman coins and pottery, dug into the earth creating turf pathways and mapped out on the ground with large stones acting as landmarks for fishermen returning from turbulent seas. The labyrinth is also connected to many folk traditions, myths and legends.
The rich global and ancient history lends itself to associations with other World Museum exhibits and over the weekend the museum will also hold a Minotaur, Mazes and Masks event. At this event visitors will find out the difference between a maze and a labyrinth and make a Minotaur mask to take home.
The labyrinth has long stood as a metaphor for life's journey, combining the sense of unity and purposeful wandering into a complicated and beautiful symbol. Walking a labyrinth is often described as a walking meditation and offers an opportunity for peaceful reflection. The many benefits include; mindfulness and well-being, heightened intuition, stress relief, relaxation, fostering non-linear thinking and imagination, self-awareness, processing bereavement, enhancing problem-solving abilities, team building, processing storytelling and of course just for fun!
The free exhibition will run from 21 to 22 April. Further information is available at: www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk