photography by Joe Kline
When the tide is out, Denny Dyke’s work begins. He designs, draws and decorates labyrinths in the sand along the Oregon Coast, mostly in Bandon at Face Rock State Scenic Viewpoint. What started as a walking meditation turned into a public art installation—this year, Dyke and his team of volunteers will create more than forty labyrinths in the sand, inviting the public to walk through the circles and waiting for his creations to wash away as the tide rolls in.
Labyrinth artist Denny Dyke uses a rake to draw the outline of one of his Dreamfield labyrinth creations at Face Rock State Scenic Viewpoint in Bandon. The sites for Dyke’s labyrinths vary based on tide and sand conditions, and he and his team and volunteers usually spend approximately two hours creating a labyrinth before a circle walk event opens to the public. Dyke starts the process by planning an entrance and exit to the labyrinth, and then decides in the moment where the path leads.
Jacque Ferreira adds details to a sand mandala in the labyrinth at Face Rock State Scenic Viewpoint. “I’ve collected shells my whole life,” Ferreira said. “Meeting Denny and getting the opportunity to share my shells has been really fun to me.”
Dyke uses a rake to draw the outline of one of his creations.
James Ferreira uses a rake to outline a shell mandala made by his wife, Jacque. Ferreira is a member of Dyke’s team who often designs the labyrinth alongside him. After seeing a Circles in the Sand poster in Bandon about two years ago, Ferreira wanted to check it out and has been drawing with Dyke ever since. He started by doing some of the basic grooming work to fill in outlines, and now creates sections of the design himself.
Dyke talks about the labyrinth and walking meditation before opening it for the public to walk. Dyke said he has used labyrinths as a meditation tool since 2003.
Dyke hugs Joni Pitcher at the entrance of the labyrinth during the public circle walk. Dyke or a member of his team stands at the entrance to the labyrinth offering a polished stone to visitors
Visitors walk the finished Circles in the Sand labyrinth at Face Rock State Scenic Viewpoint.
Six-year-old Nora Diaz runs though the labyrinth.
According to Dyke, walking the full labyrinths usually averages around a quarter to a half-mile in distance.
The evening tide begins to wash away a section of the Circles in the Sand labyrinth.