I am a writer and an interdisciplinary artist with a socially-engaged art practice.
I work in video, podcasting and radio documentaries, art installation, performance and print. And now.. sound art! While I mostly lead my own projects, I also accept commissions and contracts to help you with yours. Currently I have projects coming out the YinYang… but get in touch anyhow!
Much of my work is collaborative, so if you’d like to team up, I’d love to hear from you.
The snug, smart town of Guelph, Ontario, Canada is my home. Give me a shout.
Check out my CV for the LOAD of new projects and work for 2020- 2021, mostly in the field of mental health and creativity in community.
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 program.
She has worked for CBC Radio and Television, produced video profiles for the Stratford Festival, directed the Guelph Film Festival for a number of years, contributed to solo and group shows at galleries and public spaces across Canada and featured at Nuit Blanche (Toronto and Guelph), was Ontario Artist in the Schools, and Video Artist in Residence in Gaspe, Quebec, plus at the International Institute for Improvisation and Social Practice at University of Guelph.
She frequently collaborates with Action Read Adult Literacy Centre on video and performance projects and 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. She was commissioned as the lead researcher for Open Access for Ed Video’s Accessibility initiative through the Ontario Arts Council.
As a writer, she has written for numerous national publications including West Jet’s inflight magazine, Metroland‘s Grand magazine and GuelphLife, 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 sold-out history book: Perspectives on a Century of Change.
A curator described my work here:
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.
She created a youth Deaf arts troupe called A Sense of Wonder, recorded and produced videos of dreams of improvising musicians at a residency in Gaspe, solicited private recordings of people singing in the shower for broadcast in a public fountain and on the balcony of Toronto’s Gladstone Hotel. 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 Art Gallery of Guelph. 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. 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.’