Lead Artist

Maria Coleman is a multidisciplinary, socially engaged artist, with a strong history in the use of interactive multimedia. Her most recent work has involved short films, photography and writing, including short films 'Macalla Cholmcille', 'Síle na gCíoch ar an Trá' and 'An Caol Áit', and the photo-essay publication 'Lockdown Emergence'.

She has a degree in Fine Art (Sculpture) from LSAD and an M. Phil. in Music and Media Technology from Trinity College, with PhD research conducted at the School of Art, Design and Printing at DIT. From 2006-2010 she produced a major body of work through developing an interactive multimedia system. This system began as the 'Dynamic Action System', (see video below) made as part of her M.Phil in Music and Media Technology. It went on to be develpoed as the BRS (Body Response System). The BRS was designed through iterative 'playtests' with different user groups. What resulted was a system of sensors that reacted to physical movement with audio and video responses. The BRS coaxed intuitive playful activity from its users, and was used to collaborate with performers and audiences to make improvised, live art works. This body of work and the resulting research led to a chapter being published in the book 'The Performing Subject in the Space of Technology.' (2015). This chapter describes her adoption of the "Work-in-Movement' as a collaborative practice methodology. (See 'Goitse' video below)

Dancer Emma Martin and musician Seán Óg improvise with the Body Response System, Project Brand New, Project Art Centre, Dublin, April 2010
Dancer Emma Martin and musician Seán Óg improvise with the Body Response System, Project Brand New, Project Art Centre, Dublin, April 2010

In 2012, a paper about multi-sensory art she published in Crossings eJournal of Art and Technology  (click link for article) won the ARTStap Title Award for arts research. Her arts research has also been presented in 'Peripheries' (Gorey School of Art) at The Science Gallery (D.A.T.A) and at conferences in Trinity College, Derry and Chichester. Her art work has been supported by Donegal Co. Co., Dublin City Council and Limerick City Council. In 2010 she won the 'arts@DIT Award', which resulted in a series of performances including 'Project Brand New' at the Project Arts Centre, 'Quantified Self' at the LAB, Dublin City Council and 'Freeplay' in the Crypt at Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin. (See 'Freeplay' images and video below)

Maria is also a musician, with bands including 'Wee Small Gods', and 'Fracas' (See 'Tír na gCodladh video below). As a writer, she has had articles published as a Citizen Journalist on the European Ladder Project, in the Visual Artists Newsletter and through The Donegal Women's Network. She directed the play 'Mo Bhagáiste' by Pól O Gallachóir (First Fortnight, 2019, Imram, 2020. (Video available, email comhcheol[at]mail.com for link and password), and was sound designer for Pól's award winning play 'Madadh Mire' (Féile Náisiúnta Drámaíochta, 2019). She also has experience in arts administration through managing the Irish language theatre, Amharclann Ghaoth Dobhair, coordinating the peace building cross-cultural project 'East Meets West Donegal' and as a Donegal and Regional Coordinator of First Fortnight; Ireland's Mental Health Arts & Culture Festival.

In preparation for this project, Maria has completed a Certificate in Mental Health Awareness, (QQI Level 6, Distinction), and is also doing an online course 'Culture, Health and Wellbeing' through University College London. She brings years of relevant mental health experience to the project including being a facilitator for Donegal Mind Wellness Stress Control courses and having co-developed and delivered the Beoga Teen Wellness Programme.

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Please email comhcheol{at}mail.com for a link and password to see the video of 'Mo Bhagáiste'. This ia a bilingual (idir Gaeilge 's Béarla) 42 min long drama written and performed by Pól O Gallachóir, and directed by Maria Coleman.

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