A childhood accident, the death of a beloved pet and a library of books provide the formative experiences of the young Kathleen. Using excerpts from Kathleen Coyle's books, manuscripts, personal letters, unpublished poems and scribbled notes KATHLEEN is an exploration of the existential and the melancholic, an observation of life and death. The psychological and physical spaces described by Coyle are embodied through the approach to editing sound and image. Derry locals Anne Craig, Jim Craig and Ken McCormack breathe life into Kathleen’s words and archive movie footage provides the visual.
Born in Derry in 1886, writer Kathleen Coyle later lived in Liverpool, London, Dublin, Antwerp and Paris, where she was a friend of James and Nora Joyce. Coyle’s novels explore the struggles of life from a female perspective; her 1929 novel Liv contains an introduction by Rebecca West. Coyle’s 1943 autobiography The Magical Realm describes in vivid detail her Derry childhood. Coyle died in Philadelphia in 1952.
KATHLEEN was produced through Derry City of Culture Individual Artist Commission. With thanks to The Heritage & Museum Service, Derry City Council.
Susan MacWilliam discusses KATHLEEN with CineWomen, Women's Cinema & Performing Arts - read
Kathleen Coyle Book Collection: An extensive collection of first edition copies of Kathleen Coyle’s books from the 1920s–1940s and literary ephemera gathered by the artist from multiple worldwide sources.