We are delighted to be collaborating with Artmap Argyll for their upcoming Open Studio events and welcoming a collection of super talented Argyll Artists to our hotel, including Margaret Ker.

Artmap Argyll is an energetic network of artists from Argyll who work to celebrate and encourage the art created in the region. Their aim is to give the communities of Argyll a wider offering of art-based learning opportunities and experiences. This is done through creative events, open studios, hands on workshops and bespoke projects.

Artmap Argyll

Margaret Ker

The group’s eagerly awaited Open Studio events come round on the 23rd – 26th August and 31st August – 1st September. We will proudly be opening our doors (and our garden) to Margaret Ker, local artist and labyrinth enthusiast. Over several years, Margaret has developed a keen fascination for labyrinths, with this interest taking her as far afield as Vancouver Island, off Canada’s South Pacific coast. With Canada now ticked off the list, she is eager to return to her roots in Argyll, visiting and mapping the labyrinths of Scotland.

Scotland is thought to be one of the progenitors of these intricate pathways, and Margaret has already discovered 40 of them (information on how to locate labyrinths yourself can be found on labyrinthlocator.com)! The islands of Mull, Lismore and Iona are all homes to Scottish labyrinths, and over the course of the Open Studio events, Loch Melfort Hotel will be proud to join this select club as Margaret exhibits her own, unique labyrinth in our West coast gardens – if our resident rabbits will allow it that is!

What’s the difference between a labyrinth and a maze?

David Bowie confused us all when he donned those super tight trousers and sent a 16-year-old Jennifer Connelly on a 13-hour quest to solve a labyrinth and rescue her brother. The movie suggested that a labyrinth was a maze; a puzzle intended to confuse. However, a labyrinth is actually a single, visible path leading to the centre and out again.

contemplation labyrinth

What’s the purpose of a labyrinth?

Millions of people from all different cultures have been walking labyrinths for thousands of years. It is thought to be a holistic experience, with the practice integrating the body with the mind, and the mind with the spirit. With only one path to follow, there are no decisions to be made and the participant is free to relax, meditate or focus on what they want to experience. For those who feel like they are carrying a burden they want to release, it is often encouraged that they write this burden on a stone and carry it with you to the centre. Placing your stone on the ground when you arrive, you literally put your burden down, and leave it behind as you return and walk back out of the labyrinth.

On Sunday 1st September we are also holding an ‘Ask The Experts’ plant sale event, a unique opportunity to speak to the local garden designer and botanist that provide our plants from their nursery in Ardfern. Why not pop along and browse our plant sale, speak to our experts and try Margaret’s labyrinth for yourself?  Organic Skin & Body Care brand Neal’s Yard will also be hosting a stall at the hotel, as well as exhibitions by artists: Kerrien Grant, Victoria Maxwell Macdonald, Lucy Walsh, Caroline Plummer and felt artist Hazel Ewart-Mills. Find out more here.