still i rise…
About the project
title taken from Maya Angelou’s poem of the same name
a group of three willow woven labyrinths in the shade of an ash tree
willow | bamboo | temporary installation |
open for walking 1 – 4 October 2004
‘You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may tread me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.’
Cambridge, 11 September 2001
When the planes hit the twin towers in New York, I was weaving willows in Cambridge Botanic Gardens and staying with a Muslim friend. Since 9/11 racist attacks have increased against Muslims, especially women, who are ‘easy targets’ because of the visibility of their traditional headcovering.
London, January 2003
The body of a 65 year old Muslim woman was found in Hillingdon Hospital Mortuary with rashers of bacon laid on her.
Haddenham, 11 September 2004
I began the construction of ‘still I rise’ on the anniversary of 9/11. Willow woven, the labyrinth pathways offered an opportunity for walkers to restore dignity to woman and her body. The three female forms radiated from an ash tree. In Norse mythology, the ash tree is the world tree. Her boughs spread over the earth; her trunk is a link between the underworld and the heavens.
with thanks to Ros, Hazel, Rachel, Peter and Margaret who helped bring the labyrinths to life and to Rahima for her inspiration.
‘woman’ labyrinth inspired by a petroglyph dating from ca. 3000 B.C. in a tomb passage near Luffang, France, as referred to in Shaindel Senensky, S., Healing and Empowering the Feminine, A Labyrinth Journey, p.19.