Artist Mentor Panel

2022 -

Artist Mentor Panel
Attendees at Create National networking Day 2019, Cork City. Image: Joseph Carr

"Each mentor brings in-depth knowledge of the field, and a deep awareness of key considerations when working with communities, including in sensitive settings and where projects are addressing significant social issues.  "

Established in 2022, Create is delighted to offer an Artist Mentor Panel, made up of experienced collaborative socially engaged practitioners who specialise in a range of artforms, and who have worked with diverse communities across Ireland. Each brings in-depth knowledge of the field, and a deep awareness of key considerations when working with communities, including in sensitive settings and where projects are addressing significant social issues.   

Artists who feel in need of mentoring from artist peers can currently access this via a suite of offerings under the Artist in the Community Scheme (AIC). This includes the AIC Scheme Mentoring Award, an open call process in which five artist mentors and five artist mentees are paired for durational mentoring.

Members of the Artist Mentor Panel will be available as mentors to emerging practitioners, artists with a strong interest in, or who are transitioning into collaborative socially engaged arts, artists who find themselves on the margins, for example due to displacement or migration, artists who feel they are underrepresented in the field of collaborative socially engaged arts and artists facing particular challenges in developing their collaborative socially engaged arts practice. 

Opportunities to engage with the Artist mentor panel will be posted on our website. You can read more about the individual mentors below. 



Active mentors

Aisling Byrne (she/her) is a theatre and filmmaker, writer, director and artist facilitator based in North Kildare. She has worked extensively in the fields of arts and disability, contemporary, documentary & socially engaged theatre practice. Aisling is the founder and Artistic Director of Run of the Mill, an award-winning arts organisation creating a platform for people with intellectual disabilities in the arts, and Dublin based theatre collective, Talking Shop Ensemble. Recent and upcoming work includes Misread (RTE/ Ardan Short Film Commision, 2023), Headspace (Winner Grand Prix Best Irish Short at 67th Cork International Film Festival, Winner European Film Awards Candidacy 2023), Making a Mark by Shaun Dunne (National Tour, 2022, Dublin Fringe, 2019, Winner Judges Choice Award) and Vulnerable for Dear Ireland 3 (Abbey Theatre, 2020). As a facilitator Aisling collaborates regularly with Dublin Theatre Festival, Theatre Forum and Dublin City Council Culture Company.   

Feidlim Cannon is an award-winning writer and director for Stage and Screen. His Theatre and Film work has been programmed in Europe, America, Canada and Australasia. Feidlim is Co-Artistic Director of internationally renowned Theatre company Brokentalkers. As an artist, practitioner, and founding member of Brokentalkers, Feidlim strives to make original work that speaks directly and honestly to its audience. Work that challenges conventional form while staying accessible. Feidlim teaches staging performance at University College Dublin. 

John Conway is a visual artist based in Rua Red. His work is characterised by innovative multi-disciplinary projects and sophisticated solo and participatory artworks produced in response to sensitive and challenging contexts.

Cathy Coughlan is a multidisciplinary artist working across visual arts, film and dance-theatre contexts, as well as devising site specific and community responsive projects Nationwide. She is currently Head of Project Potential at Project Arts Centre. As an artist working in a collaboration with communities she has delivered projects and performances in association with Kildare County Council, Visual Gallery Carlow, Tipperary Dance Platform, Tallaght Community Arts, RADE, Common Ground, Create, Focus Ireland, the Fatima Regeneration Project, Bealtainne Festival, Dunamaise Arts Centre, Dublin City Council, Dance Ireland and Coisceim Dance Theatre – Broadreach.

Ruairí Ó Donnabháin is a language activist and a choreographer; he is making ritual objects for a tribe which doesn’t exist. Ó Donnabháin has been making dances in Ireland since 2008. He is a Masters in Choreography Graduate from DAS Graduate School Amsterdam & holds a joint honors B.A. in Drama & Theatre Studies and English from University College Cork. Ó Donnabháin is from County Cork and his choreographic practice is concerned with ‘aesthetic practices of care’. He lives and works on Oileán Chléire, a remote island and Gaeltacht off the south west coast of Co. Cork investigating Gaeilge as a site of queer resistance and new materialist collaboration ‘in the wild’.

Is gníomhaí teanga agus choreografadóir é Ruairí Ó Donnabháin, tá sé ag thógáil uirlisí deasghnáth de treibh atá chaillte. Bíonn sé ag eagrú damhsaí in Éireann ó 2008. Tá Máistreach aige i Choreografaí ó DAS Graduate School Amstardam agus Céim Onóracha dhá ábhar i Béarla agus Dramaíocht ó Coláiste na hOllscoile Corcaigh. Is as Chontae Chorcaí é Ó Donnabháin agus tá a taidhde faoi ‘chleachtais aeistéitic chúraim’. Tá sé ag obair ar agus ag chur Oileán Chléire fuann.

Kate O’ Shea is an artist working across printmaking, large-scale installation, performance, and publishing. In late 2021 Kate began a process of critical reflection and review of twelve years of her artistic practice with mentor Dr Ciaran Smyth, Vagabond Reviews.Gravity Express #1 is a publication device which they co-constructed with a view to sharing some insights from that mentoring process. Kate is a member of The Just City Collective, Broken Fields, The Living Commons Ireland, Housing Action Now, CATU, Community Action Tenants Union, Praxis Artists Union, and Red Wheelbarrow Productions. Kate has a Masters by Research in Printmaking as a space for solidarity and dialogue. 

 Jijo Sebastian is a collaborative filmmaker with more than ten years of experience in participatory, collaborative and transcultural filmmaking in community-based contexts.  Awards received include Artist in the Community Award, Next Generation Bursary, Arts Participation Bursary and Hugh Lane Gallery and Create joint commission in 2023. He has co-written, directed and edited eight short films and one tele-film collaborating with individuals, groups and families from the Keralite Indian community and others in Ireland. His films have been installed in art galleries and screened at national and international film festivals. 


Previous mentors

Deirdre O’Mahony’s public artworks include X-PO and SPUD 2009 – 2019 developed through collaborative public events to facilitate discourse on rural development, agricultural issues and tacit knowledge. Recent projects include Eat Food Policy feast supported by Kunstverein Aughrim and IMMA(2023),  the Sustainment Experiments feast and exhibition at Butler Gallery, Kilkenny (2022), Model Plot for Field Exchange Creative Ireland Climate Call (2022), Feeder RHA Gallery, PLOT 1 (2021 – 0ngoing) VISUAL Carlow and PLOT 2 Gangwon Triennale, Korea (2021). 
Awards include Visual Arts Bursary (2022/2021) Arts Council of Ireland, Fire Station Artist Studios Residency (20223) and Sculpture Award (2021), and Artlinks bursary (2022). Academic qualifications include a BA (Fine Art) St Martins School of Art, London (1979), MRes. Crawford College Cork, CIT, (2005) and PhD from the University of Brighton (2012).

Artist in the Community Scheme