Doorways - a moment of transition

Doorways represent transition: the moment 'between' two places.

They represent a liminal space. The word  comes from the Latin limen, literally meaning threshold – any point or place of entering or beginning. A liminal space is the time between the 'what was' and the 'next'. It means occupying a position at both sides of a boundary. It is a place of transition, waiting, and not knowing. Liminal space is where all transformation takes place.

definition of liminal space.png

The concept of 'liminality' was first developed in the early 20th century by folklorist Arnold van Gennep and developed by anthropologist Victor Turner. Turner described the quality of ambiguity or disorientation that occurs in the middle stage of rituals - for example rites of passage such as baptism or bar mitzvah - when participants no longer hold their pre-ritual status but have not yet begun the transition to the status they will hold when the ritual is complete. Participants 'stand at the threshold' between their previous identity, time, or community, and a new way, which the ritual establishes. Rituals, of course, can be both consensual, such as adult baptism, or enforced, such as female genital mutilation (FGM). 

Image: grimnir74 2013

Image: grimnir74 2013

It is often described that there are moments of liminality - sudden events or ritual passage (death, divorce, illness, natural disasters, revolutions); there is periodic liminality - crucial life stages or wars (puberty, university); and there is life-span (often called epoch) liminality - individuals standing 'outside' society by choice or by force (for example by religion, gender, race or sexuality). Asylum seekers and refugees, for instance, could be described in this way.

Image: Getty

Image: Getty

The passage through this liminal space is often destructive (circumcision, tattoos, warfare etc), the experience disorientating and outcome transformational - the 'old' (person, place, society) is replaced by the 'new'. At this threshold there is uncertainty, but also possibility. Embracing this uncertainty - becoming comfortable with this un-comfortableness - has often been associated with unlocking creativity.

Doorways are thresholds, the liminal space between 'now' and 'next'. Inspired? Submit your work in any medium for a chance to be part of 'Doorways'.

Remember, you can follow us @DoorwaysArt2018 on twitter, and keep and eye on this blog for more updates, ideas and inspiration.

To ask us a question, and to submit your work for Doorways for Fringe Arts Bath 2018 (by the deadline of 20th March), email Check the FaB website for details of how to apply.

FaB CuratorDoorways