When I was little I was obsessed with a truly weird film centred around a babysitting teenager (Jennifer Connelly), talking worms, friendly ogres and a goblin king played by David Bowie. Yep, Labyrinth was totally nuts, creepy and brilliant. If you haven’t seen it and are now a fully-grown, fully-functioning adult, I’d advice you don’t as you likely won’t get it and will think all the rest of us who have a strange obsession with the 80s cult movie just plain odd. The movie was like a twisted, darker Alice in Wonderland and immediately tapped into my overactive childhood imagination, obsession with the idea of other worlds and talking creatures, and will forever make masked balls scary and glorious in equal measure in my mind.
I remember one amazing Physics lesson while at school. On the last day of term after weeks of struggling to get a bunch of teenagers to understand the difference between conduction and convection, our teacher decided to put on a video copy of Labyrinth to keep us all quite (much to my delight). Although at the time I was too embarrassed to say I was a huge fan of the crazy film and merely wondered what on earth Labyrinth had to do with the realm of rationality and science. Still, I appreciated the diversion…
One of the main, final scenes of the film sees David Bowie wandering around a Labyrinth (get it) of twisting stairs that went sideways, upside down and just plain up, all while holding a clear, crystal ball. And tragically, this was one of the first things that sprung to mind when we encountered the incredible architecture of Jade Mountain in St. Lucia… My hair, thankfully, isn’t on the scale of Bowie’s ragged mullet and I’m not searching for my stolen baby brother, but the maze of stairs, bridges and brightly-coloured glass sculptures felt like a dreamlike world of epic proportions… Albeit without the goblins, trap doors and twists and turns.
Ph. by James Wright using a Leica M Series