Copyright © 2013 Viveka Bowry, All Rights Reserved                                                        © Website Design by Sarah Jennings  2013     

Copyright © 2013 Viveka Bowry, All Rights Reserved                                                        © Website Design by Sarah Jennings  2013     

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The Drawn Line



The full moon on Saturday May 6th was the nearest to the Earth of all full moons in 2012. As a result, the deepest tides of the year occur in the ensuing weeks and, on this beach they reveal large expanses of sandy shore. Usually the tide does not fall low enough to expose so much sand so consistently.


At lowest tide, 1p.m. I mark out a line in the sand with a stick – drawing in sand as ancestors have done for millennia. I follow their lines, aiming for a simple, abstract curving line.

I work alone and mindfully in the arc of time, having only this time between the fall and the rise of the tide, held gently within its embrace.

I gather sea- weed and drift sticks from the high tide line, the line drawn by the ocean as she marks the highest point of her journey along the shore. I draw my line, she draws hers. As I place the material, I weave my path, round and then around on myself again. And it comes to completion.

Two beach walkers stop, they each take turns to walk the path. They photograph me at work, they talk with me, and then they leave. I walk the line in bare feet. It is a meditation, a conscious placing of the feet as they carry me through the form, twisting and coming back on myself, re –visiting something from a different angle.

At 3.40p.m. the tide is approaching. The ocean still sits behind a large rock that shields my artwork from the water. As the tide rises water comes around and closes in on both sides of the rock simultaneously. It will gradually enter the labyrinth and return it to the source. It will be a long while later that the water will be deep enough to submerge the rock.


I chose to draw a much larger form in the same location, and so need to work with a helper in order that the piece is completed within the given time frame.

We gather green sea- weed from the low tide line, and black from the high tide mark – the ocean does her own sorting, and we draw the line, each beginning at opposite ends. Slowly, it is filled in, until we have one metre left to fill which will join up and complete the drawn line. It is a powerful moment. As the line closes and becomes one structure, one entity, I can feel energy begin to flow through the curving, meandering form. This is archetypal energy, drawn down through millennia to flow through this archaic piece.  There is evidence of labyrinthine forms being present across the globe from 200 B.C. onwards, during the Bronze Age.

 As soon as the form became ‘whole’ it became a living entity. It takes on its own vibrational frequency, like each living thing, and this harmonises with other vibrations in the Universe, calling them down like prayer songs to elaborate and strengthen the vibration of this new labyrinth.

I walk inside the completed form, feeling a deep sense of stillness and oneness as I do so. At the end, I turn around to walk the return journey; slowly and mindfully I walk the path of prayer, for this is what it has become.

M. walks outside the form in one direction, and on the return walks inside. She describes how it feels smaller and more intimate after she has walked through it. She paused at a point where the weed is especially rough, knelt down to feel it, and shivered. At times, she describes how it felt like she was turning back, but only for a while, then a new pathway opens up. From the darkness I transition to lighter, then to bright green! New life! Then back I go through the darkness to the ‘ other side’, and another form of new life. I express gratitude.

We start with an open canvas, we build a drawn line; we each walk the pathway, and then we watch it as it breaks up and returns to source in the ocean.