Ancient paths

Michelle Genders

Ancient paths


Chalk, roses, berries, iris, stones, bones, plastic, glass and candles

Installation – 5 x 5 metres


Exhibited in:



Artist statement:

One meaning of vital is “necessary to the existence, continuance and well-being of something”. Many spiritual traditions agree that a vital part of spiritual exploration is practice. That is, actual actions undertaken to connect with the spirit in order to know its and our own inner nature. A labyrinth is a tool for practice. Walking through a labyrinth or using your eye to follow the pattern is an ancient spiritual practice. The first known labyrinth in a Christian context dates back to the 4th century. 

Walking the path of a labyrinth, or tracing the pattern with your eye, is an act of contemplation and self-exploration. I’ve created a labyrinth using a collection of enduring and ephemeral materials. Some of these materials last longer than others, but all are subject to decay over time. This is a reminder to contemplate our own mortality, the potential for change within our own life time, and the things that endure beyond our own existence.