A knitting project that started out in the Tullamore Library last year by the renowned textile artist, Kathryn O’ Brien, is now being developed into a movie which will be set in the midlands of Ireland and directed by Offaly-based filmmaker Paddy Slattery.
What was known as The Pilgrim’s Coat Textile Project was comprised of a local knitting community who volunteered their time to creating this beautiful coat. (see attached photo). Each person involved contributed by knitting their own pieces. Their goal was to create a coat using only tones of the surrounding countryside and Slieve Bloom mountains. The textured stitch structures would suggest unique patterns from ancient stone sculpture, rock carvings, mountain ridges and the ploughed landscape.
The coat itself was created for the mythical character Aedh, who features in many of W.B. Yeat’s poems: most notably “Aedh Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven”. History also mentions an Irish Chief of the same name in The Annals of Tigernack (606AD), recounting the death of Aedh on the way back from a pilgrimage at Clonmacnoise, Ireland’s earliest pilgrimage site. He was buried in Kilcormac church and it’s this story that the film will pay particular attention to.
The film will be aptly titled ‘The Pilgrim’s Coat’ and through an episodic series of interwoven stories, poetry, dance and mystic imagery, this non-narrative film will highlight the significant connection that exists between Aedh and us. Using wool and yarn as a narrative tool, they will metaphorically explore the vibrant fabric of Aedh’s existence and examine the patterns of his behaviour.
According to Paddy, ‘The Pilgrim’s Coat’ will be a film for all ages and cultures to enjoy offering audiences a unique glimpse into the timeless and tranquil treasures of Offaly and the surrounding midlands. However, before production gets under way they must raise the funds independently in order to make the film.
In Paddy’s words “Since it’s proving impossible to extract money from the Arts Council, we have decided to go down the road of online crowd-funding once more following the success of a previous campaign on Fund it. In a way, this is a good thing because this way we find ourselves under no creative or aesthetic obligation to a committee, nor is there any unnecessary pressure to meet a deadline. In other words; this film will be very much our own, to deliver how and when we choose.”
Details on our production crew and cast will be updated on our official facebook page over the course of the production. www.facebook.com/thepilgrimscoat
Thank you all for your support. Without it, we simply could not make this film.