Bio

I am an interdisciplinary artist and writer working in video, audio, print and community art projects.
For some of my print publications please visit here

I have bits and pieces of a blog on this site- just a place to practice writing imperfectly, for if I try to write perfectly, I will never write. Subscribe if you’d like. I’d like. (at side of page).
I’d like to build up a readership so I can write more. I won’t send more than one email a month. And, I promise I won’t tell you how to live your life.

This year I have much ado in art and writing…

I’m in my second year as commissioned lead artist at Art Gallery of Guelph collaborating with a fantastic bunch of Deaf kids and kids with hearing loss. The project is called A Sense Of Wonder— I just wrapped up a stellar run exhibiting at the Art Gallery of Guelph and in a video installation on Carden Street in Downtown Guelph. More here and here
Now screening at Toronto International Deaf Film and Arts Festival in May at Hot Docs Cinema! What an Honour!

I’m working with the Guelph Film Festival again- this time producing a series of short videos accompanying a gallery exhibit called “Transported: Objects of Meaning and the Immigrant Experience.” We are looking for subject right now… and will screen our stories in November at this awesome community festival.

I’m producing a little radio series called “Two-way: Kids and Seniors Conversations” which will air on CFRU in JUNE. Come have a listen right here: 2-way

With Guelph Life Magazine’s last publication (see my final cover story here on the wacky kids at Making Box Theatre here), I am now writing for Grand Magazine– with three features… one on artisinale Ontario CHEESE, another profiling an Olympic Gymnast and a third an adventure in OTTAWA coming up in a double issue in July.

I’m doing some research for the true-blue Ed Video Media Arts Centre: “Open Access” on finding ways to make Ed Video more accessible for Deaf and Disability communities.. If you have ideas– please contact me!

I’m back with the International Institute for Critical Studies in Improvisation making some ‘videos showcasing the impact on their great collaborations in the community. I might even head to Gaspe with the gang for their Land’s End Artist residency!

Here is a bit on my background if you want to keep reading…

Dawn is an alumni of the University of Toronto School of English and Drama, and University of Guelph’s theatre stage management and creative writing. Dawn also writes for several publications, blogs occasionally, advises for the Guelph Film Festival, and freelances in radio documentary for CBC.
Recently, she managed a video lab at the University of Guelph which researches the ways in which arts-based practices can create opportunities for communities marginalized by misconceptions of difference and disability (projectrevision.ca).
In 2011, she was the video-artist in residence for University of Guelph’s Improvisation Community and Social Practice office creating videos on saxophonist Jane Bunnett’s improv workshops with special needs community groups. (www.improvcommunity.ca)
As a writer, she has written for numerous national publications including Up!, West Jet’s inflight, The Globe and Mail, Dogs In Canada, Ignite Travel, Guelph Mercury, KW Record, Ottawa Citizen, Outpost and Canadian Living magazines. She also edited Guelph’s history book: Perspectives on a Century of Change.
She has worked for CBC Radio and Television, and produced video profiles for the Stratford Festival. Dawn was the director of Guelph’s Festival of Moving Media for a number of years http://festivalofmovingmedia.ca/, made social history videos for Guelph International Resource Centre’s Social History Project, and contributed to group shows with Ed Video Media Arts, the Guelph Jazz Festival, Macdonald Stewart Art Centre and Nuit Blanche (Toronto and Guelph).

(Want more? Asleep yet? Somebody wrote this nice stuff about my art…)

Dawn’s artistic practice seeks to interrupt civic and social spaces with unexpected moments of beauty, curiosity and joy. Her relational performances and interventions hope to offer moments of exuberance and liberation from everyday suffering and to dismantle the barriers between individuals. Dawn creates site-specific sound, video and performance pieces that have been installed in galleries and public spaces across the country. She solicited private recordings of people singing in the shower for broadcast in a public fountain in Guelph’s St. George’s Square. She staged a silent community sit entitled “Stare” for Nuit Blanche. She videotaped isolated old-timers navigating a bank machine, then overlaid a soundtrack of their memories of kinship survival. She created a Confession Alley for local residents to give voice to experience otherwise unshared. She collaborated with adult literacy learners from Action Read Guelph in an adaptation and performance of Shakespearean monologues, then broadcast the recordings from trees for a Shakespeare festival at the Macdonald Stewart Art Centre. http://www.uoguelph.ca/shakespeare/multimedia/audio/a_tongues_in_trees.cfm . She assembled a guerilla team to build snowmen on the front lawns of household residents, with the hopes of providing a little joy just outside their windows. Recently, Dawn worked with Musagete’s Foundation’s 1mile2. You can find her blog posts here. http://www.1mile2.com/category/d-matheson. Matheson collaborated with a Guelph resident living with disability to conceive, develop and produce a short documentary video to be screened at a community literacy lie-down cinema and ‘slumber party.’ She hopes that these documentaries will offer fresh and intimate perspectives on shared pursuits of happiness by underrepresented members of the Guelph community.

(Still awake? )

On Monday mornings, you can find her at The Writing Room, an open writing studio at Guelph’s The Bookshelf.

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