Funding, Artists

Arts Council of Northern Ireland announces £77,599 for innovative Digital Arts projects, supported by The National Lottery and Future Screens NI

28th December, 2023

The Arts Council of Northern Ireland has announced funding of £77,599 to support eight individual artists from Northern Ireland in the creation of a number of exciting, high-quality arts projects using innovative digital technologies. The eight artists include Jordan Burns, Ekaterina Solomatina, Grainne Taylor, Michael Edgar, Conan McIvor, Sinead O'Neill-Nicholl, Eileen McClory and Cat Brogan.

A group of people with augmented reality headsets on sitting beside listening posts in an art gallery setting.

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

The National Lottery 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:

Jordan Burns
Funding award offered: £10,000
Project title: Live Music for a Virtual World (Phase 1)
Live Music for a Virtual World will be a fully immersive, live performance that will take place in a Belfast City Centre venue and combine live music with virtual reality.

Ekaterina Solomatina
Funding award offered: £9,954
Project title: Forming Formidable
‘Forming Formidable’ is an augmented reality (AR) game that invites children’s imagination into the real world of grown-ups. The project will create the opportunity for adults to tune in to the imaginations of children and the worlds they create. The project focuses on mindful story-telling and participatory fine art, making it much more relatable and wholesome. Interactive features will allow the viewer to walk around and engage with a blend of two worlds.

Grainne Taylor
Funding award offered: £9,800
Project title: Can Technology Compete with Tradition?
This project aims to investigate the innovation and capabilities of Clo3D for fashion design versus traditional design. By comparing these two approaches, the project aims to assess whether technology can match or surpass the quality and creativity of traditional methods.

Michael Edgar
Funding award offered: £9,496
Project title: Cross Disciplinary Digital Experimentation in Textile Craft & Fabrication
This project will give the artist the opportunity to learn new digital skills and experiment with textile printing and design through digital presentations. The artist plans to develop a digital design space using programmes such as DefeXtiles principals and Einscan 3-D scanning techniques to create new digital objects that can be incorporated into projection and live display for theatre.

Conan McIvor
Funding award offered: £10,000
Project title: Living, and other afflictions
This project will translate an inpatient experience of a medical doctor on the 'other side of the fence' into a visual art/theatre experience that communicates the doctor’s journey of fear, discovery, and hope while he was at his most vulnerable with sepsis and adult Kawasaki disease. In this project the artist will explore a hybrid presentational format of live performance combined with Virtual Reality Augmented Reality and Mixed Reality.

Sinead O'Neill-Nicholl
Funding award offered: £8,399
Project title: Love reimagined - hear more, feel more (working title)
This project will see the artist creating new digital artworks using Dolby Atmos by dedicating time to working with the unique tools and techniques of the software. Throughout the project the artist will expand their knowledge of innovative music production skills and professional recording.

Eileen McClory
Funding award offered: £10,000
Project title: Guerilla Walls
Artist Eileen McClory will work with Yellow Design to explore the use of cutting-edge digital technology to create new ways of digital storytelling that seamlessly integrate technology, dance & immersive storytelling, in order to create an inspiring audience experience. The project will allow the artist to challenge the traditional notions of movement and dance as a live and kinesthetic art form and forge a new language for movement within the digital realm, one that transcends the physical limitations of the human body. Th project will incorporate avatars and digitally transported movements to create captivating and emotive dance experiences.

Cat Brogan
Funding award offered: £9,950
Project title: Lecky's Legacy - AR Guide to Fintona
By actively engaging with the LGBTQ+ history of her hometown, Cat Brogan aims to shed light on the lives and experiences of individuals who have often been overlooked or misunderstood. This project will use augmented reality (AR) to provide an immersive experience in Fintona, pushing artistic boundaries by incorporating technology into storytelling. Through the fusion of historical narratives with interactive digital elements, the project endeavours to create a dynamic and engaging insight into the history of Fintona. The goal is to transport individuals to a different time, allowing them to interact with history in an entirely new way.

Karly Greene, Director of Strategic Development & Partnerships, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, commented,

“Today’s announcement of the National Lottery Individual Artists Digital Evolution Awards is welcome news and we are delighted support these eight artists through this programme, thanks to The National Lottery players and Future Screens NI. The programme will support these artists in the creation of art using digital and immersive technologies and will also help them develop skills in using these 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