#71 The Congregation

#71 - The Congregation - Sarracenia minor, otherwise known as the Hooded Pitcher, is a North American carnivorous plant. They grow in dense clusters that look like hooded green monks trying to organize themselves into a choir. Their cartoonish green robes, red lips, tan hoods and speckled shoulders belie their murderous intent.

Attracted by sweet rewards, insects climb under the hood, lose footing on the slippery lip and fall in. Naturally, they try to climb toward light assuming that is the exit. The light, though, comes from the speckles in the tube: translucent windows of deception. Duped by the illusion, they ignore the true exit and spend the rest of their abbreviated lives caught in a trap.

This maze shares trapping strategies with the pitcher plant. The job is, of course, finding the pathway through the patch of pitcher plants, matching the colored arrows on the upper right and lower left. Beware, there is duplicity at every turn and deception in every branching path.

When drawing a maze, I am in a conversation with some theoretical future maze solver. I guide the solutionist on a tour through shapes, curves and colors that catch my eye. As a path leads to a feature, I'm saying, "explore this shape, see how it swirls and reverses." Sometimes I lead the solver astray, sometimes I offer rewards for following where I lead. Intermittent reinforcement is a powerful tool.

Unlike real pitcher plants, my mazes have yet to be proven lethal. Perhaps you want to take the challenge?