Maria Tanner Cohen

Maria Tanner Cohen is a visual artist, writer and curator based in the Ring Gaeltacht in Co Waterford. As a visual artist, Maria’s practice sporulates a new artistic lexicon around the imaginary interiority of Ireland’s ancient ritual landscapes, and the alternative discourses these places hold for critical ecological thinking and practices. Ancient site activations, wild fiber installation, land-based performance, gaeilge, experimental writing, foraging, pigment making and wood craft are the strands that combine this artist’s multi-layered practice.

Most recently, the artist received the Agility Award 2022 from the Arts Council to support the exploration of ideas of mythography, eco-imagination and heritage advocacy within her practice. The outcome of this research culminated in an exhibition, Adhmaid agus Clócha Séiseach which was presented at the Market House Crafts Works in Cappoquin in December 2022. A piece from this body of work has been selected by curator Benjamin Stafford to form part of the ‘Remembering Futures’ exhibition with VISUAL Carlow in June 2023.

Maria received her MAvis in contemporary art criticism in 2010. The formal development of Maria’s writing practice focused on questions of contemporary art in a post-communist Eastern Europe. In her Revolt and Agonism – Virtual Democracy and the question of Post-Identity, published in the MART catalogue, Maria had the opportunity to edit her writing with the editorial support of internationally acclaimed artist Tanja Ostojic. Subsequently, Maria has gone on to publish numerous exhibition reviews, catalog essays and experimental writing, both nationally and internationally.

During a writer’s residency in Szczecin, Poland in 2011, Maria was introduced to models of artist-led experimental exhibition making practices. Activated to agency by the experience, Maria returned to Ireland to produce and curate two large-scale vacant space experimental exhibitions titled Idionumina 2012 and ‘ It is not on any map, true places never are’, 2014 respectively. The latter of which received the Project Art Award 2014 from the Irish Arts Council, Cork County Council Arts Office Arts Grant Scheme 2014, Art & Health Fund Award, HSE South 2014 ,and the Youghal CU Community Development Fund 2013.

Maria’s current practice combines the range of her experience as a visual artist, writer and curator to provoke a re-imagining of the intrinsic value of heritage and land-based knowledge systems, in the context of ecological crisis and resilience.