CEH visiting fellow, Julie Rickwood, is researching the environmental and cultural history of Five Senses: The Mt Ainslie Community Labyrinth (pictured in the photo gallery). As the anonymous creator of the original labyrinth in 2006 she was searched out by Canberra Times journalist, Tim the Yowie Man, during an overseas research trip in 2011. On her return, Tim joined her on a walk to the labyrinth and published an article shortly after.
More recently, Julie contacted Tim to chat with him about her research project. Shortly after, the labyrinth was damaged during a storm. Ever enthusiastic, Tim suggested another trip to the labyrinth to check on its condition and to video a conversation with Julie about the labyrinth and her project.
An article was published in the Canberra Times on Saturday 18 February 2023. The two page spread included a number of photographs and begins:
Since this column "outed" Julie Rickwood as creator of the Mt Ainslie community labyrinth in 2011, I've hardly heard from her.
Then out of the blue, a couple of months ago I received a missive from the energetic artist.
Fast approaching 20 years since she created the classical seven-circuit style labyrinth which she named "Five Senses" after Judith Wright's poem of the same name, Julie was writing a book on its history and wanted to interview me about my role in exposing her publicly as its creator.
However, before we were able to meet up, another message lobbed in my inbox.
This one was titled "Farewell Five Senses".
Oh dear, what had happened? Had vandals destroyed it? Perhaps a mob of Mt Ainslie kangaroos (they do have a mind of their own) had a powwow and demolished the labyrinth?
According to Julie, "the guardian tree, a mature Blakely's red gum" which overlooks the 15-metre-diameter stick and stone labyrinth had "decided on the ephemeral essence of Five Senses".
For more information, or to access the article or accompanying video, see the Canberra Times online (access is behind a paywall). Alternatively, please follow Tim on social media, or contact Julie Rickwood or Jessica Urwin for more.
Images provided by Julie Rickwood