Gestare Art Collective

Womb Walks II   2017 - 2018

Womb Walks was our first collaborative practice as a collective in 2011 when Barbara, Nané and Medwyn each walked and sometimes made labyrinths on each of our birthdays, walking simultaneously at a distance from each other with the intention of supporting a rebirthing experience on these anniversary days of our birthing from the womb into this life.

As individuals and as a collective we have wit(h)nessed many changes in the intervening six years. As we held space for each of our voices during our August 2017 retreat, we recognized a theme of re-emergence for the Collective. Barbara's completion of her work at an American state university in Carbondale, return to Canada and to Calgary a place of her early years as an artist; Medwyn's new directions in life and relocation to an urban environment in Victoria; Nané's completion of her post doctoral work, with life shifts back into grassroots work as her daughters grow up, and Cindy-Lou's realignment of focus and time with work and family, all reflected a sense of change and renewal. We found ourselves wanting to honour these changes through re-engaging with our womb walking practice thus opening space for the rebirthing of ourselves individually and as a Collective.

Womb walks will be created in December for Cindy-Lou, February for Nané, March for Barbara, and May for Medwyn.

Cindy-Lou's Birthday
Nané's Birthday
Barbara's Birthday
Medwyn's Birthday
December 12, 2017
February 6, 2018
March 31, 2018
May 14, 2018

Cindy-Lou's Birthday December 12, 2017

Medwyn's walk

It was 2:30pm ona bright cold winter afternoon in Victoria when I found my way to the labyrinth in the grounds of Christ Church Anglican Cathedral at the corner of Quadra and Burdett on the unceded territories of the Lekwungen people of the Esquimalt and Songhees nations. This seven circuit Cretan labyrinth was a millennium project with sturdy brick pathways over which stand the massive guardian trees of the place. It is a busy corner with sounds of traffic, children in the playground nearby, sirens,car radios, and the voices of pedestrians walking through the Cathedral grounds.

Taking time to drop into labyrinth consciousness I called in Cindy-Lou to be with me as I stood at the entrance to this unassuming pathway. Beginning my walk I Immediately became aware of the presence of two ancient Garry Oaks, one incredibly tall and beautiful Redwood, a somewhat less imposing Western Red Cedar and a broad leaf Maple winding her branches up into the oaks. My breath caught at the power of their presence in this space. Walking the pathway brought images of the feet of the first peoples who walked that land at the time these majestic trees were small saplings. The trees began whispering on the breeze telling us about their lives in this place, the way in which they have relationship each with the other and as a whole, relationships fostered by their shared experience of the changes to the land, the people who visit this land each with their own intention, the stories shared beneath their branches, the lives lived in their presence, the many years passed. They sange of the seasons bringing them the thrill of sap flowing as spring approaches, the explosion into full leafing and flowering under the warm sun, the releasing of their seeds in the cool moist of autumn dropping their foliage to feed the ground beneath them composting into rich layers of soil, and finally the withdrawal to their core as the cold of winter blankets their whole form, resting regenerating preparing for the sap to run again.

Garry Oak


Sensing Cindy-Lou's presence beside me I followed the pathway first one way then turning to walk alongside the path I had just traced, then a big circle round the outside bringing me yet again into the inner pathways. The trees asked us to remember the pathways of our lives drawing us around first this way then that, sometimes limited, sometimes expansive. Their compassionate offering of the trees brought care, comfort, connection and relationship for Cindy-Lou to receive as she wished. Their guardianship of this sacred place through centuries, watching the cycles of birth, life, death and regeneration over and over, created a dimension of protection andpresence touching the liminal worlds between what we see and know and that which ever remains a mystery.

Nane's walk - Dec 3, 2017

I walked for CL a bit earlier then her birthday, on the super full moon day of Dec 3. I had kind of mixed up the weeks, with my over full life. But even realizing the mix up of days, I thought the full moon was good time to honour Cindy Lou's birth-day and see what comes of the meditation. I went to the labyrinth in St Paul's, and indoor laby in Vancouver that I have walked upon for years. A dear contemplative and healing space for myself and many folks, who I see and silently walk with over the years.

Walked in the door - felt the warmth of the space and hearing the chants on the CD.

The GIFT of this space hits me, a gift you give to your-self

gift of space

gift of breath

gift of time

As I approached the labyrinth I felt like crawling on the floor into it, just crawling and pulling myself like a baby around the laby, being close to the floor, close to earth, but I didn't. As there were too many others around, and it's not that quite a relaxed and expressive space to explore? But I noted my sensation and decided would lie on the floor as much as I could afterwards.

Sitting at the centre of the laby I am reminded of clearing energies and I hold a golden bubble above my head to clear my energy bodies. I feel how I can be with others but don't have to process their energy for them. I can just hold my own energy and BE WITH them in togetherness. I have a sense of co-regulating in this way, and I think of Cindy Lou and her mother. I think of them in this time doing this together. That CL can be-with her mom in this way, in a supportive care practice. I send them this wish, that CL can have her own energy to nature her-self with, in her mother-care practice at this time. One can be available to others without draining oneself. This is what came up anyway, as I sat in the centre of the laby.

Relationship to the Earth is forefront in my being on my walking way out of the laby. An earth-release and grounding walking of foot to foot on earth. 

When I come out I lie on the floor which holds and nurtures me with its wooden flooring from the trees. I then sit up on the floor on a pillow,feeling thankful for this healing space and time. Blessed be.

Barbara's Walk - December 13, 2017

Wearing a jean jacket on Cindy Lou's birthday I imbue myself with the quality of Cindy Lou's style. I leave my third floor studio in McHugh House in downtown Calgary (Studio M* is the window on the top floor of the house on the left side of the video overlooking the park) and go into the Humpy Hollow Park playground to make and walk a labyrinth under the swing set. My labyrinth is a failure as the gravel is hard draw into. I walk it anyway confidently making up the path and turning as I want to. (S)winging it in Cindy Lou style. Swinging (with Cindy Lou) is simulataneously hard work, fun and exhilarating.

After my swing I sit on the nearby bench to rest. On the ground I find a needle casing. This park is in the neighbourhood of many homeless and street people. I am reminded of Cindy Lou's path of serving homeless survivors of psychiatry.

5 minutes video of the sunset labyrinth making, walking and swinging for Cindy Lou's birthday.


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