Home Arts / Culture  ​A Labyrinth for the Bay

 ​A Labyrinth for the Bay

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Would you like to be able to walk a labyrinth in Byron Bay? During November you will be able to. Local storyteller, Jenni Cargill-Strong was one of the successful applicants to the Byron Shire Council’s Placemaking Seed Fund. The community labyrinth is an initiative of the Byron Shire Council’s Placemaking Seed Fund and a catalyst event for the Byron Bay Town Centre Masterplan.

Byron Shire Council has granted Jenni $1200 as a seed fund for a temporary labyrinth walk which, if fully funded, could become the site for two ceremonies, twice weekly guided labyrinth walks and other events from November 5 to December 3. A related myth will be recorded and broadcast on BAY FM. To pay modest fees for creatives and materials involved in the project, Jenni requires a further $2 000. She is looking for both individual and business sponsors to support the project with cash and in-kind donations and has created a crowd funding page, which you can find here: https://chuffed.org/project/temporary-labyrinth-byron-bay

Jenni has been walking the Byron foreshore with visitors telling stories on her fledgling walking tour, ‘Stories on Foot’, and saw a need for something to help soothe people’s souls amid the hectic holiday vibe.

“Having attended the Byron Bay Town Centre Master Plan meetings, I was aware that the Main Beach car park and Apex Park on the foreshore were nominated by community members as areas of disharmony,” said Jenni. “I decided a labyrinth would be perfect, because they are beautiful, mysterious and very therapeutic. Also, I am no good at sitting and meditating, but I love walking a labyrinth!”

Worldwide, communities are installing public labyrinths as places of quiet reflection and healing. They evoke a sacred space where people can do a walking meditation. It invites participation. A labyrinth can be enjoyed by people of any age, race, religion or ability level. It is a perfect setting for co-generational sharing. Young children love to run a labyrinth, whereas adults generally walk it slowly and contemplatively.

Labyrinths resonate closely with the values of the Byron community as a spiritual, earth-loving community and could be used by tourists and locals alike. The stories, history and myths related to labyrinths are fascinating and will be explained more in community radio broadcasts, recordings and small gatherings at the labyrinth.

The chosen site is along the foreshore in a partly shaded spot within a circle of trees, southeast of the Surf Club. Locals and meditators can choose to go there in the early morning when it is quiet and parking is more plentiful.

While this is a pop-up place activation, if the community embrace it, an application will be made to Byron Shire Council for permission and seed-funding to install a permanent labyrinth next year.

The labyrinth will be installed Saturday, November 5 and will last until Saturday, December 3. If you can contribute, please visit the Chuffed ‘Temporary labyrinth Byron Bay’ crowd funding page or contact Jenni on 0403 328 643 or info@storiesonfoot.com
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The Common Ground of Byron Bay. If you wish to contribute, please contact: Kirra Pendergast P: 0408 068 824 E: kirra@commongroundaustralia.com

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