Funding, Artists

Arts Council announces £40,000 for innovative Digital Arts projects supported by National Lottery

6th December, 2022

The Arts Council of Northern Ireland has announced funding of £40,000 to support five individual artists from Northern Ireland in the creation of a number of exciting, high-quality arts projects using innovative digital technologies. The five artists include, Csilla Toldy, Michael McEvoy, Michael Speers, Peter O’Doherty and Rueben Brown.

Female in orange top and male in blue shirt using virtual reality headsets.

The funding is part of the Arts Council’s Individual Artists Digital Evolution Awards, a programme supported by The National Lottery, which offered artists across all art forms the opportunity to apply for grants of up to £10,000 each.

The Individual Artists Digital Evolution Awards aims to support those artists who are making digital art for the first time, or are working with digital or immersive technology in a novel or innovative way.

Each artist will now go on to develop a digital work:

Csilla Toldy
Funding award offered: £7,812
Project title: Ec(h)o

Csilla Toldy, based in Rostrevor, will develop a project entitled Ec(h)o, an immersive art piece of four digital film poems screened in a loop that together create a visual haiku featuring soundscape, animation and a multisensory element presented in a black box. The project will offer the artist the opportunity to learn about animation, sound design and back screening aswell as new technologies including drones and 360-degree shots and screening.

Michael McEvoy
Funding award offered: £10,000
Project title: A Kiss for a Kiss

Michael McEvoy, based in Saintfield, will develop a project entitled, A Kiss for a Kiss, a contemporary dance-based project that delves into the world of digital creation, animation and virtual reality. The project will be narrative driven featuring a duet between a dancer in the real world and an avatar in animation. What is unique to the project is the capture of movement and qualities through motion capture suits. The artist will use transfer this data into a digital format using augmented reality technology and then filming the process, allowing the artist to present a short film showcasing the way in which dance and technology can collaborate.

Michael Speers
Funding award offered: £10,000
Project title: Ground Drum

Michael Speers, based in Newtownardswill develop Ground Drum, a project which sees the artist designing a digital musical instrument, based on the earliest known form of drum, of the same name. The project will create an instrument that sensitively integrates with and learns from a natural environment. The project will enable the artist to develop their practice as a musician, composer and researcher of sonic arts, by working under the mentorship of Prof. Paul Stapleton at the QUB Sonic Arts Research Centre (SARC), in Belfast.

Peter O’Doherty
Funding award offered: £4,589
Project title: Cartographies of resistance VI: a deeply mapped 3D space

Peter O’Doherty, based in Derry-Londonderry, will create a project entitled Cartographies of resistance VI: a deeply mapped 3D space. The project will explore connections between sound, music and space and will research new spatial musical ideas that expand the traditional boundaries of composition, to include the spatial experience. The deep (audio) map will make use of data from a range of sources, which will be sonified to form the basis of 3D audio artwork. The project will culminate in a final 3D audio composition/performance, which will be performed on a spatial array in Derry-Londonderry at the end of the project.

Reuben Brown
Funding award offered: £7,599
Project title: Interactive, Ephemeral, (Hyper)Real Installation

Rueben Brown, based in Banbridge, will develop a project entitled, Interactive, Ephemeral, (Hyper) Real Installation, an ambitious large-scale interactive installation combining sculpture, with 3D-CG (computer-generated) animation, ephemeral architecture, lighting and sound engineering, robotics and virtual reality game design.

Gilly Campbell, Director of Arts Development, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, commented,

“Today’s announcement of the Individual Artists Digital Evolution Awards is welcome news and we are delighted support these five artists through this programme, thanks to The National Lottery players. The programme will support these artists in the creation of art using digital and immersive technologies, and will also help them develop skills in new technologies. This programme reflects the Arts Council’s commitment to encouraging innovative practices that cross artform boundaries and build digital capabilities within the Northern Ireland arts sector and I look forward to experiencing these exciting, ambitious projects as they develop.”

For details on all funding opportunities visit