Den helbredende labyrinten
The Healing labyrinthThe Healing labyrinth©Jannik Abel
24 wheelbarrows of organic matter collected in the surrounding gardens (leaves, nuts, seeds, branches, mushrooms, barks)
The project comprises seven concentric mounds of organic matter with several paths to the center. The path is visible due to the trampled grass, and may be followed or abandoned at will. The form relates to ancient labyrinths and sacred geometry symbols of healing.
The Healing labyrinth
The piece was a part of the first edition of LAND ART 2023 placed in the environment of the old psychiatric hospital of Dikemark (Norway). Opened in 1905, the hospital complex was designed for treatment with dignity to the patients in a healthy natural setting. In this context, 7 artists were invited to create site-specific artworks in the surroundings. Located apart from the traffic road, I created a leaf-made labyrinth beside building 9, named Slottet (the palace). From a therapeutic perspective, labyrinths are used world-wide as a way to quiet the mind, calm anxieties, and stress reduction. As an artwork, the labyrinth relates to the historical and curative aspects of the place.
To carry out the site-specific project, I explored the area looking for fallen leaves - a tough task due to the summer season - and collected them together with other organic matter. With a wheelbarrow, I pushed them up a high slope a total of 24 times, where the garden - which I had chosen - was located. I selected the material based on colors and textures. Then, with a stick, I started to draw circles on the grass with the collected material.
In the context of the mental hospital area of Dikemark, the process had made me think about the stupidity or foolishness of my insane action: to give form to seven organic-made concentric circles that wind can destroy their wholeness symmetry or that can be covered up by fallen leaves in the Autumn. But, as an art project, it makes sense. Art transforms a non-sense, irrational action into a beautiful, meaningful gesture. Through Art, I have created a metaphor of how anyone can lose their sanity pushed by a force they cannot control, in the same way that happened to the patients of Dikemark.
LAND ART 2023