” The term space has been commonly been used in place of cultural landscape to describe landscapes that are produced or mediated by human behavior to elicit certain behaviors”

As a site specific artist I am fascinated with the subject of space in which we occupy and how humans relate to place and environments.

During my final year of my degree I was interested with weaving and decided to research for my main written piece about the  craft and its history. Through researching i discovered inspiring myths that weaving inspired. The main myths being  the weaving contest between Arachne and Athena and the myth of Ariadne and the labyrinth.

Though i did explore the patterns of making spider webs in my work for my final year, it was not until i created the performance/site specific work at the tithe barn at Cotely for Somerset Art Weeks in 2012 that i finally fused my work alongside the myths. During the two weeks of Somerset Art Weeks i wove myself into the center of my web, playing the part of Arachne after the event/story had taken place. At the end of the story Arachne is transformed spider by Athena and is doomed to weave webs for eternity.


lab 2

For this year I want to explore the myth of Ariadne and the Labyrinth.I was inspired by the Garden at Aller Farmhouse because it is like a Labyrinth itself with all its little hidden areas and also the relationship between our cultivated gardens and mazes in Britain, though this sadly did become unfashionable there are still historical gardens which still have them. Because the Labyrinth brings the viewer inside it and almost takes them away from the outside world, the experience being inside one becomes  a spiritual journey of the soul.

The aim of the Labyrinth is to give the person who walks inside it a spiritual experience. In religion our journey in life is to possess ‘The Abundant Life’, this refers to getting rid of feelings of emptiness and dissatisfaction to gain a abounding with joy and strength for mind, body and soul. Labyrinths are often symbolic to the journey one makes in life to seek ‘The Abundant Life’. Referring to the Labyrinth at Chartes Cathedral in France a journalist speaks of his experience of the walk:

“Each person’s walk is a personal experience how one walks and what one receives differs with each walk. Some people use the walk for clearing the mind. Others enter with a question or concern. The time in the center can be used for receiving  reflecting, or meditating, as well as discovering our own sacred inner space”.

Though I am currently exploring this subject matter at the moment, it currently has huge potential as a piece of work which the viewer can also become part of, watch this space!

Categories: Aller Farmhouse (Williton, West Somerset), Leah Hislop, Uncategorized | 4 Comments

About leah hislop

I am a site specific artist who lives in Taunton. My most recent work concentrates on building large intricate webs out of wool in a space.  Though there is some rough plan to what I will create. I never know how the work will look like because it is made on site and the work often takes the shape of the environment/space it fills. By using my own intuition and working within the space, I feel each work is a unique piece and also has a sense of connection to the place it has been created in. The subject matter of my work explores the boundaries (both physically and physiologically) that we as a society put between ourselves and the world. They also represent for me personally my need to find a sense of place within the world. 

4 thoughts on “Labyrinth

  1. Pingback: World Labyrinth Day | THROUGHSTONES

    • Hello Fiona,
      Thank you for your message.No I have not read that book and yes I would love to borrow it off you if that is not to much trouble.
      Leah 🙂

      • Hi Leah, shows how much I look at my comments on wordpress – I’ve only just seen your reply – 2 years ago.. oh dear!! Well, if you still want to borrow my book, let me know and I’ll try and get it to you! Hope all’s going well. Fiona

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