Arachne’s Labyrinth

Submitted by Kathy Bruce

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Client: Broward County Community College

Location: Davie, Florida, United States

Completion date: 2013

Project Team

Artist

Alastair R Noble

Artist

Stuart Bruce-Noble

Artist

Kathy Bruce

Bruce & Noble Design

Overview

This project consists of an interactive bamboo structure of a mythological female figure. The 13' high x 30' figure is based on the labyrinth image represented in traditional cultures such as Hopi and Hindu rituals, which refer to the capacity of women to weave a child within the fabric of her body—as in the Arachne and Spider Woman imagery. In these stories, the labyrinth acts as a metaphor for the spider’s web that she conceives and deposits her eggs into.

Goals

Unlike related Eco- or land-based art, this work is truly sustainable in the sense that there is no residual impact or direct intervention on the landscape. The work consisting of bamboo and raffia was fabricated using hand tools with no use of electricity. The goal for the labyrinth maze celebrates the call for an environmental approach to creating sustainable public art within the local and global community. This work is situated in the open art quadrangle of a College campus where the community can enter a spiral passageway leading into the center of the figure's skirt/web and experience the sculpture from the inside out, not just view it from afar.

Process

This project was the the result of artists/student collaboration. The concept and design was created by the artists however, the sculpture faculty and art students contributed time by assisting the artists in the installation process of tying and binding the bamboo with raffia.

Additional Information

We employ the use of natural materials and textures to inspire public audiences to think about their own relationship to nature and the environment around them. We believe it encourages their own exploration of building structures with natural materials such as leaves, branches, earth etc. and teaches an appreciation of Nature. Our labyrinthine figure of a mythical woman in this out door space allows the community to trace spiral forms occurring in Nature within the dress folds encircling the female figure.