A new film created by older people from Cavan, Donegal, Leitrim, Mayo, Monaghan and Sligo, with artist Marie Brett, launched on 1 February 2023 to mark St Brigid’s Day. Brigid, Our Spirit Stirring captures the creative outputs of an Age & Opportunity art project carried out in the six counties in partnership with Age Friendly Ireland and funded by the Creative Ireland Programme.
The project explored past and future views of Brigid and her transformative relationship to the Irish people. Participants worked with Marie on a series of craft and poetry workshops. They produced hand-crafted artefacts such as Brigid-style crosses, protective God’s eyes, masks, hats and Brídeóga. These were brought together for a final pageant event held at the National Museum of Ireland, Country Life, in Mayo. Participants paraded their creations in a procession inspired by traditional ritual and holy pilgrimage. Brigid, Our Spirit Stirring was filmed at the pageant event.
The film was launched at the W8 Centre, Manorhamilton, County Leitrim on St Brigid’s Day. Creators and performers from the six counties who feature in the film attended and once again created Brigid’s crosses and Brídeóga dolls, this time with Helena Golden, the ‘Willow Woman’, from Leitrim. Attendees stepped through the Brigid’s Girdle while saying a personal prayer for protection during the year ahead.
I didn’t know I’d be able for making such lovely things. – Project participant
This project has connected older people from the North West in a uniquely creative and celebratory way around the theme of Brigid, both Goddess and Saint. – Karen Horgan, CEO Age & Opportunity
Brigid, Our Spirit Stirring is a digital fusion of a contemporary live event that reimagines collective and cross-generational folk custom. I loved creating this work; the contributors created beautiful, evocative poems and gorgeous processional artefacts. – Artist Marie Brett
The project is the result of an Age Friendly Ireland initiative in conjunction with the Creative Ireland Programme which called for the delivery of regional creative initiatives for older people in the context of supporting health and wellbeing. Following a call for proposals, Age & Opportunity’s proposal with artist Marie Brett was selected for the North Region.