Some of you may already know, apart from my interest in pilgrimage, medieval and modern, I am also very interested in post medieval folk art. In 2016, I set up the Irish Folk Art Project to documents and records non funerary folk art around Ireland. Last year I was invited by Roisin O’Grady, the Tipperary Heritage Officer, to contribute part of my folk art research to the ‘Stories from the Landscape’ project.
‘Stories from the Landscape’ is a collaborative project between the Heritage Offices in Tipperary, Galway and Clare and the Galway Film Centre, supported by the Heritage Council. It consists of a series of nine short films, three from each county. Each film showcases a unique heritage story relating to the county.
Tipperary Stories from the Landscape
The Tipperary stories feature environmental Heritage of Tipperary with Gearoid O Foighil from Cloughjordan telling the story of Schohoboy bog restoration, social history of Mining in Slieveardagh area by former miner Michael Cleere. I was very honoured that my research on the Tipperary Folk Art was chosen as the archaeological story for the county.
My Short Film ‘A Cat with Two Tails’
My film showcases an aspect of my research on Tipperary Folk Art. It explores the links between a series of late 18th/19th century carvings of cats with two tails found in Tipperary and contemporary folklore about Goban Saor. It also show the results of a photogrametry survey of the Tipperary Folk Art commissioned by the Irish Folk Art Project and funded by the Tipperary Heritage Officer . The survey was carried out by Gary Dempsey of Digital Heritage Age.
Making the Film
Filming took place on a very cold day last Novemeber. The film was directed by Paul Murphy , with camera work by Ivan Marcos. It was a pleasure to spend the day working with these two very talented and professional people. Paul Murphy is also the director of the award winning short film The Weather Report (https://www.facebook.com/theweatherreportshortfilm/) which is playing as part of this years Irish Film Festival Australia.
Filming took place on location at a number of well-known Tipperary Heritage sites such as Holycross Abbey, the Swiss Cottage, and the Rock of Cashel.
All of the sites have folklore connecting them to the Gobán Saor and the story of his carving of a cat with two tails.
The film also shows how the carvings of the cats and the folklore of the Goban has influnced the work Tipperary sculptor David Gorey. David who is based in Fethard kindly allowed us to film in his studio.