Last year I visited the labyrinth in George Square in Edinburgh. A labyrinth is like a maze but there are no confusing options, just one long, meandering path from the outside to the centre. You take the path slowly and use it as a metaphor for a spiritual journey (except in my experience spiritual journeys have been more like mazes – confusing, alienating and with surprises round every corner). This labyrinth is simply laid out in the brickwork, no raised hedges or walls, just a path to follow that’s a slightly different colour to the ground around it. I was very good on my walk into the centre of the labyrinth, following the path carefully and slowly. On the way out, however, I felt the need to cross the lines, run wildly across parts of it and deliberately trod on the edges.
Following the labyrinth in is a similar experience to making some of these drawings. All I’m concerned about is the next step, and once I’ve made the rules for each drawing, created the structure of the design, then all I need concern myself with is the next step. It’s peaceful and the end results become complex and beautiful.
However, sometimes I feel the need to tread on some lines and run wildly across the page. I guess that to allow the pictures to evolve, there needs to be some risk taking and some rule breaking – it doesn’t have to be much, but enough to remind me that rules are manmade constructs and they should be challenged now and again.