Beach art on a sunny day brings smiles

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Two artists combined their talents over the week end to create a Labyrinth on Whitby beach.

Eva Wolfram, a land artist, and Hilary Thorpe, a local painter who has recently moved to Whitby from the Isle of Wight.

Eva has a lot of experience creating Labyrinths in all sorts of locations, particularly sandy beaches.

So as Whitby has a great expanse of beach at low tide, coupled with a view from the cliffs, they set about on a beautifully sunny Sunday to create Eva’s ‘trinity labyrinth’ design.

They used a couple of rakes and a plan to work from.

Eva drew out the first few swirls then Hilary followed Eva’s directions to draw out the plan. They then used the rakes to fill in areas with pattern and texture.

“It was hot work,” said Hilary. “There is no doubt that as the creation of the Labyrinth was close, I felt a great boost of energy and well being.”

The labyrinth created plenty of interest from passers-by and they were encouraged to walk through it.

A labyrinth takes you in and out as you follow the path, as opposed to a maze which you have to search to find your way out.

The trinity pattern takes you round a three stage process (Father, Son, Holy Ghost), perhaps looking at a problem from three angles or reflection of three stages in your life.

The many dogs out walking enjoyed the activity but did not quite follow the rules. Eva and Hilary were encouraged by all the positive comments and they are planning to do a bigger one over Hallowe’en.

Labyrinths are ancient tools and have been used by humans since the beginning of time.

While the modern world around us may be different from that of our ancestors, the essential aspects which make us human remain surprisingly unchanged: among them is our need for contemplation.

In a world full of distractions, a labyrinth provides us with a dedicated space and pathway for taking this active pause and ponder our questions.

It also gives us the opportunity to connect with our centre, with the earth under our feet, and with the sky above ... we can put our lives in perspective.

Unlike mazes, labyrinths do not have dead ends and only have one entrance and exit.

Rather than having to ‘search’ for the way, we can trust that our path is laid out right in front of us... all we need is our willingness to take the journey.

As a meditative tool, a labyrinth invariably takes us to ‘the point’ and mirrors our own journey through life, allowing us to examine and direct our intentions from a different perspective. It provides a calm, universal focus which is not tied to any particular spiritual approach and can therefore be applied as required.

An empty canvas for our personal bigger picture.

The process of creating a labyrinth is profound in itself and can be experienced in participatory events.

Where possible, Eva uses materials found on site or recycled/natural materials.

Labyrinths created in the tidal zone on the beach hold a wonderful rhythm of ebb and flow and lend themselves to ceremony for all kinds of life transitions.

Eva’s projects range from four-hour beach installations for individuals and groups to festival and seasonal installations, educational projects and large permanent structures.