‘She speaks like someone unfolding the petals of a lotus’ British Theatre Review.

Feeling a bit chilly? Wondering if the ice on the canal will ever melt? In Celtic and Irish mythology the pagan goddess Brigid was everything, including the patroness of an early spring – but where is she now? Find out at the Scottish Storytelling Centre on 30th January, when performance storyteller Xanthe Gresham Knight will celebrate Brigid and other Neolithic sun goddesses.

Her - Forging the Lines of Brigid - SSC jan 2015

Her – Forging the Lines of Brigid was originally commissioned by the Glastonbury Festival for its Greenfields site. It is the eighth in a series of Goddess Tales that have been performed at the Barbican, the National Theatre, the Soho Theatre, Northern Stage, Cheltenham Literature Festival and Glastonbury itself; the shows have been described as ‘a series of minor miracles’.  Her is Xanthe’s attempt to banish the patriarchal voices within her with the help of the great pagan goddesses; as she travels through the ancient sites and stories of Scotland, Ireland – and much further afield – uncovering the myths of Brigid, the White Snake, the Swan, the goddess of fire, healing and poetry, she returns to herself. The show combines storytelling, one-woman show, stand-up and performance art. It is, says Xanthe ‘about bringing our city-soaked souls back to nature’.

Xanthe’s work is highly energetic and distinctive and has captivated audiences all over the world. She is a lecturer in Drama and Storytelling at the University of East London, and has been a Storyteller Educator for the Tate Gallery and a Storyteller in Residence at the Chelsea Physic Garden.

Accompanying the show is a new exhibition by textiles artist Gillian Cooper, whose chosen medium connects her with women from past generations and links her to the contemporary world of textile art. Unsung Muses consists of a series of quilted pieces, floating figures and transparent hangings, celebrating the lives and influence of our female ancestors and forgotten goddesses – the ‘unsung muses’ – who have shaped the lives of so many people today. Gillian has incorporated the notion of time passing by creating outlined rather than detailed figures, almost hovering under layers of embellishment and organza; slightly obscured but never forgotten.

Detail from Gillian Cooper's Unsung Muses
Detail from Gillian Cooper’s Unsung Muses

‘The connections between Unsung Muses and Her – Forging the Lines of Brigid are fascinating’ says Gillian, ‘with starting points in different cultures, they come together to enable audiences to ponder on the golden goddesses of their own past’.

Gillian’s exhibition will open on 30th January with a private view 6-8pm to which audience members are invited; it will continue until 21st February 2015, and all pieces exhibited are for sale. Gillian is one of the selected artists for this year’s European Patchwork meeting in Alsace; her next solo exhibition will be at Farfield Mill, Sedburgh from 21st March 2015. Gillian also writes for several major textile publications, and offers various workshops and talks.

Her – Forging the Lines of Brigid is at 8pm on Friday 30th January 2015 at the Scottish Storytelling Centre, 43-45 High Street. Tickets cost £8/£6 and are available online or by calling the Centre Box Office on 0131 556 9579.

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