No, not lighting, silly, the other kind of illumination. Last night I finally watched the “The Secret of Kells.”

Secret of Kell on Flee Fly Flown

Talk about escape through creativity. Not only does the movie transport you to an ancient Ireland, it weaves folktale and Christian history into an interpretation of the story of the Book of Kells through vibrant, visual storytelling.

Secret of Kells on Flee Fly Flown

Book of Kells on Flee Fly FlownHaving taken a class when studying abroad in Galway, Ireland on this very topic (The Development of Irish Script from the Book of Durrow to the Book of Kells), and having seen the actual Book of Kells and its exhibit on a trip to Dublin’s Trinity College, the history and the contents of the illuminated book continues to spark my interest and leave me inspired.

The movie itself really is a visual delight. Whether it properly follows history or not is anyone’s guess, but it paints a loose picture of how the manuscript came to be. What I find interesting is the way it’s animated. The creators seemed to have taken a simplified approach to the animation with the authentic look of hand drawn (vs. computer generated) images. But at the same time, there are so many beautiful, intricate details that sneak up in the movie, just like in the manuscript’s pages. Snowflakes fall as little celtic knotted crosses, the scenes in the forest are layers upon layers of flora and fauna unraveling as little Brother Brendan explores with his new friend.

Long story short, watch the Secret of Kells, you’ll be inspired.

And if that’s not enough, here’s a few other ideas for illuminating your wardrobe, walls or design work:

Knots and illumination on Flee Fly Flown

Top row, left to right: Celtic Motifs Design Book, varies. Vintage knot belt, $13. Luck of the Irish Ring, $17. Bottom row: Sash belt with knot, $10. Celtic loops earrings, $20. 15th century alphabet plate print, $25.

Go n-éirí an bóthar leat!

- Colleen