Sunday, January 24, 2021

Beauty in the walking at Lincoln Labyrinth Festival

A three-week festival this August of events, workshops, performances and – perhaps most importantly – the opportunity for personal reflection and contemplation – will be centred on the historic Lincoln Cathedral based around a 40 foot diameter labyrinth drawn on the floor of the nave.

Organiser John Woodward said: “Lincoln Cathedral is to be the focus but this novel festival will draw participants from across the City of Lincoln, bringing local communities to work together with professional groups active in the fields of art, design, music and history.

“The theme is that ‘The Beauty is in the Walking’ – we want people to come to the Cathedral and find their own pace, their own time and reasons to walk the labyrinth and take a pause from the everyday world.”

The Cathedral Chapter “are looking forward to this event very much and to seeing it come to fruition”

The opening event takes place in the cathedral on the evening of 6 August with a performance of choral works sung by DISCANTVS.

This concert presents music from across the centuries from times of the construction of the Chartres labyrinth through to the present day, all reflecting, in some way, the theme of peace, devotion and stillness represented in the labyrinth symbol. The performance will be choreographed on the symbol itself.

On the morning of 12 August there will be a presentation in the cathedral by young people from the Stage Fright Theatre Community using the labyrinth to bring together ideas about life’s processes and pathways, time, space and boundaries.

This is followed on the evening of 13 August by a dramatic rendering by the County Amateur Operatic & Dramatic Society of “The Quest of the Holy Grail” with music and dance settings based on Mallory’s tales of King Arthur using the labyrinth symbol as a stage (repeated on 18 August).

Also Included in the busy Festival programme, which runs from 6-27 August will be:

(i) Walking the labyrinth: A full-size copy of the Chartres Cathedral labyrinth open daily for the public to experience walking a labyrinth path.

(ii) Labyrinth Workshops: A second smaller copy of a labyrinth laid in the Cathedral south transept to be used by the public in small groups for a series of guided workshops on topics of reflective walking for inner stillness, creative walking for writers and artists, and young people’s workshops..

(iii) Labyrinth Exhibition: A display in the south aisle of the Cathedral showing a historical survey of labyrinth forms, including a rarely seen and unique icon entitled the “Lincoln Labyrinth”, together with a series of paintings by professional artists specially commissioned to portray “the journey of life” as their theme.

The closing event is a candle lit evening in the Cathedral on 27 August at which the labyrinth symbol will be encircled with candles, accompanied by a choral concert of songs, harp music and readings specially composed for the occasion.

This project involves the communities of Lincoln with support from local businesses, including Brewin Dolpin, Lincoln based Financial Advisors, and Robert Woodhead Ltd, Nottinghamshire based award winning builders currently engaged on the Lincoln Castle Restoration project and the Arts Council for England Lottery Fund.

Groups with cultural interests in labyrinths from the UK and abroad are expected to make the journey to Lincoln to attend and take part in the festival.


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