Thursday, July 12, 2012

Labyrinth

After briefly exploring several different ideas for inspiration in the Mythology theme, I finally decided to use the labyrinth as the focus of my quilt. As I was working on this piece, the image became incredibly symbolic for me and I'm so glad I followed that path for design.


The labyrinth is originally from Greek mythology. It was an elaborate structure designed and built by Daedalus. Its function was to hold the Minotaur. Eventually Theseus killed the Minotaur in the labyrinth, but then he was stuck in the winding structure. He emerged when Ariadne provided him with a line of thread so he could find his way out again.

A line of thread!


Some people think of the labyrinth as a maze, but they are really quite different. A maze has dead ends and confusing paths. A labyrinth has many twists and turns, but follows one continuous path to the center and back out again.

As my family and I prepare to make our tenth move of the past twenty years, I feel my life is full of tiresome, winding pathways. My husband's job in the US Navy means we move quite regularly. The latest move will be just a couple of miles down the road since we have be unable to extend our current rental lease. (Grumble!) But, it still means packing tons of stuff, readjusting to a new location, changing addresses and utilities and meeting new neighbors.


Sometimes I feel as if I'm just moving in circles and it's dizzying in its chaos and monotony and hassle. But, it's also just fine. It's our life. Though I may be uprooted, I don't ever feel lost. I always know we are continuing together on the path.

In a funny way, it's both predictable and unpredictable. The experience is repetitive and I can sometimes glimpse comfortable pauses along the way. It's a bit like the labyrinth design with its concentric rings and symmetrical turns. Over the next month, it might feel frustrating and tiresome, as when one path seems to be almost to the center, but then switches back the other direction.

Isn't that floral fabric fun? I was unsure of such a busy print, but I really liked the color palette. I'll try to focus on the fresh, light hearted style as I'm buried in moving boxes.

13 comments:

B J Elder said...

I love your piece... and relating it to the moves in your life, well, I certainly can identify with that. Thank you for a lovely piece and your thought process behind it.l

Gerrie said...

I had never thought of the labyrinth in this way and it is such a good analogy. I have always used the labyrinth as a path for focusing in meditation. I am very attracted to the floral fabric - it caught my eye right away. I like how you have incorporated all of your personal elements into this. I like it very much.

Diane Perin Hock said...

Oh, Deborah. I love your choice of labyrinth and how you have connected your life situation to it. I get a sense of the overview of the labyrinth, and the layers of progression as you move through (from the stacked pieces) and of course the use of straight and curving linear elements all work so beautifully. The floral fabric adds a joyful mood to this, too. Gorgeous!

Helen Conway said...

I would have commented earlier but I had to kneel down and weep for a while at the beauty and genius of those layers! It is a lovely quilt. How did you do the labyrinth? If there was one thing I might pick out for contructive query it is the white handstitches on the green...they remind me very strongly of a windfarm but I suspect they are not mean to be that... Or are they?!

Kristin L said...

Perhaps the fun floral fabric is the garden of friends and experiences that you will grow as you make yet another move to another location. I too used the labyrinth, but had not connected it to my similar life situation. Maybe Ariadne's thread is a life line for both of us in a time of uncertain pathways.

Amy Parra Morusiewicz Fun from A to Z! said...

Appreciate the journey!

"Never make your home in a place. Make a home for yourself inside your own head. You'll find what you need to furnish it - memory, friends you can trust, love of learning, and other such things. That way it will go with you wherever you journey." Tad Williams

Terry Grant said...

It has a beautiful sense of lightness and positive energy! I think of the contemplative uses of a labyrinth, even though you are talking about going in circles and chaos, but I think you have mastered that part of it. It really does seem a commentary on the unpredictability of life, but oh, those cheery, buoyant flowers are such a nice reward.

Joyce said...

Lovely piece. Great to see the labyrinth. I was in Chartres Cathedral last week and enjoyed having a little stand and contemplate in the middle of the one there (as featured in the Da Vinci Code). If anyone else is visiting that part of France they might like to know that the chairs standing on the labyrinth are cleared away every Friday afternoon during the spring and summer months so that people can follow it all. Unfortunately I did not find this out until I went on the Wednesday.
Best
Joyce F (a member of the regular audience for your reveal)

Nikki said...

Love the piece! The layers and depth are gorgeous.

I, too, thought of doing a labyrinth, but wasn't sure of how to fit it in the rectangular format. I'm sure if we were still doing 12x12 that would have been the direction I went.

Karen Rips said...

I feel for you, having to move again, but you seem to make it part of the adventure of lfe, and this piece reflects that.

Brenda Gael Smith said...

The, not quite centre, labyrinth is the focal point of this piece but once drawn in to it meandering paths,the eye s drawn to other elements - the little houses with their yellow bushes; the trees; the band of text; and the arc in the sky. And all framed by that gorgeous print - both muted and fresh.

Terri Stegmiller said...

Oh ugh! I'm sorry you have to move again. That doesn't sound like fun. I love this piece Deborah, it really shines with your style. And the mythology symbol seems to fit so well. And yes, that print is a great choice in this piece.

Françoise said...

So much to look at in this piece! Your labyrinth doesn't look scary at all. I like the vertical blue sheer fabric. Maybe it's a path too. The floral fabric is perfect, and I like the appliqueed flower in the top left corner. Is it you?