I took a trip to nearby Kildare town on Saturday to visit the launch of the Brigid’s Cloaks exhibition. I love “launches” as they usually provide an opportunity to talk to the artist and I was not disappointed here.
It was a pleasure to meet the manager/director of this project, Lorna McCormack of the Wool in School programme. She discussed how the schools’ programme aligned closely with local culture and heritage and Sustainable Development Goals 2030 (my muinteoir roots are obvious!)
Lorna introduced me to lead Artist Michelle Hickey Legge who described the works. Four stunning St Brigid’s Cloaks were crafted “with an all-encompassing approach to wool heritage and art” Lorna explained. “With a focus on an all island approach involving many generations, people across Ireland came together and immersed themselves in heritage crafts and community connections”. Lorna had some amusing stories about how the children chose the placement of their work. She also pointed out some interesting features I might have missed: a knitted piece from one of Seamas Heaney’s aran jumpers featured; one of the cloaks had Brigid Cross motifs included.
A total of 925 were involved, including 250 local school children from the town of Kildare who made pompoms, covered CDs, pieces of wool lace and knitting, each placed onto a cloak.
St Brigid’s Cloaks is a community artwork developed by Wool in School in association with Creative Ireland and Kildare County Council.