In order to arrive there
To arrive where you are, to get from where you are not,
You must go by a way which is the way of ignorance.
In order to possess what you do not possess
You must go by the way of dispossession.
In order to arrive at what you are not
You must go through the way in which you are not.
And what you do not know is the only thing you know
And what you own is what you do not own
And where you are is where you are not.
T.S.Eliot, East Coker
This pretty much sums up this whole project, which was our very first. This is how we described it then...
Cynefin 2000 is a Millennium Festival project designed to bring together and celebrate the past, present and future in an innovative and profound artistic experience.
Cynefin 2000 will begin with a nine-week intensive arts based exploration for two groups of 15 people from the town of Fishguard, Pembrokeshire. One group will be of town elders, the other of young people.
A three phased process will lead these groups on separate journeys of discovery - a practical exploration of their respective sense of cynefin. Unfolding their sense of self, sense of community, sense of history and sense of future the groups will eventually come together to create a profound and lasting arts experience for their whole community and beyond.
Through the design, construction and inhabiting of a labyrinth the two groups will unify and fuse together in a celebration of the common and diverse perceptions of their habitat. They will then lead the people of Fishguard through their joint representations of cynefin manifest in the labyrinth.
Emerging from the labyrinth inspired, visitors will be invited to add to the project with their own sense of cynefin. These images, impressions, stories will be recorded as a ‘virtual labyrinth’ on the Cynefin website, so that the labyrinth extends indefinitely in cyberspace and is broadcast globally.
The festival ends in September with an Arts Symposium for all those who have been through the labyrinth and the wider community.
This Symposium will be an event to celebrate their journeys, share meanings, explore possibilities and consolidate the provision and use of arts in the county. The labyrinth will then be suggested as the Millennium Dome Exhibit for Fishguard.
The project will have piloted a mode of holistic communication between communities with universal application potential. Projects bringing together Irish and Welsh young people; communities from different Celtic regions of Europe; and eventually, indigenous cultures of the world, are planned.
“Magical, enchanting, beautiful. Death and rebirth. Life's great Cycle.”
“Blow the Millennium Dome - come to Cynefin 2000 - absolutely brillo!”
“An awesome experience - a feeling of peace and well-being.`'
“I didn't want it to end. Kept turning every corner hoping it wasn't the last!”
“Wow - goodness me - I'm a bit gobsmacked really.”
“I didn’t want it to end.... let’s hope it never does.”
“Space for noticing myself”
“Joy, touching base, going back inside, play, space, receive, fun.”
“It was like a painting that you painted yourself as you went through.”
“I enjoyed the silence, a sense of adventure, the mystery, being in the dark, being gently led, smiles, a sense of peace.”
“A way to get out of my head and into my body for (sadly) a short time.”
“Black black dark black wet feet bent back.”
“A wonderful experience - it's amazing the amount of talent there is in this area!”
“Scratch of chalk on a blackboard, heat of blushing, whisper of secrets.”
“My feeling journey - release, fear, joy, life, abundance, death, barren, birth, grief, water, return, tenderness, spine-tingling, alone, content, flight, resistance, anxiety, sadness, connectedness, family, isolation, abandon, mercy, empathy, lost and found.”
“The labyrinth brings one a sanctitude, deep inside of myself…like communing with angels.”
“There are many many wheels turning in my spirit through the labyrinth, the vibrations of which remain with me as I travel my path.”
“Quite remarkable, extraordinary – a spiritual, emotional and creative/artistic experience. Helped me through loss, grief, completions…if it were in a ‘classy’ London venue [it] would be acclaimed and famous.”
“Brilliant. Overwhelming really. This morning I visited my friend who has just been told she has one year to live. I just cried after the labyrinth. I saw my mother in there too. It was exciting and magical and real”.
“Deeply meditative, mysterious, sensitive and beautiful. The potential is infinite”.
“It is an experience that will resonate in my memory for the rest of my life.”