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"Pilgrim's Coat" movie on the way

Thursday, 20th June, 2013 11:20am

Story by Laura Ryder
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The Pilgrim's Coat

The Pilgrim's Coat

A knitting project that started out in Tullamore library last year is being developed into a movie set in the midlands.

Directed by well known Offaly filmmaker Paddy Slattery, those behind the project are hoping to use crowd-funding to see the idea become reality.

Known as “The Pilgrim’s Coat”, last year renowned textile artist Kathryn O’Brien headed up a project that saw local knitters volunteer their time to create a beautiful large coat.

Each knitter involved contributed separate knitted pieces. The goal was creating a coat using only the tones of the surrounding countryside and the Slieve Bloom mountains, with unique patterns from ancient stone sculptures, rock carvings, mountain ridges and the ploughed landscapes achieved through textured stitch structures.

The resulting coat was created for the mythical character Aedh. Aedh features in many of WB Yeat’s poems, most notably in “Aedh Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven”.

History also mentions an Irish chief of the same name in The Annals of Tigernack from 606AD, recounting the death of Aedh on his way back from a pilgrimage at Clonmacnoise. Aedh was buried in Kilcormac church, and it’s this story that the upcoming film will pay particular attention to.

The film project will also be entitled “The Pilgrim’s Coat”. Along with directing duties, local man Paddy Slattery will share producing responsibilites with Emma Owen of Babyjane Productions from Galway.

Through an episodic series of interwoven stories, poetry, dance and mystic imagery, the non-narrative film will highlight the significant connection that exists between Aedh and the midlands.

Using wool and yarn as a narrative tool, the film will metaphorically explore th vibrant fabric of Aedh’s existence and examine the patterns of his behaviour.

“The Pilgrim’s Coat” will be a film for all ages and cultures according to Paddy, and will offer audiences a unique glimpse into the timeless and tranquil treasures of Offaly and the surrounding midlands.

However before production gets underway independent funds must be raised in order to make the film.

“Unfortunately once again it’s proving impossible to extract money out of the Arts Council therefore we must reach out to the people who love and support the arts, offering them an opportunity to become involved,” Paddy said this week.

Anyone interested in finding out more about the project and ultimately contributing to it can do so at www.facebook.com/thepilgrimscoat.

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