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Michelle Deignan

Born Year, Month, Day (Location)

Michelle Deignan makes moving image, photographic and print works, for gallery exhibition, for cinema and for other screening contexts. These works critically examine the production and dissemination of culture now and historically, touching on subjects such as local and international identity, nationalism, feminism, class politics and aesthetics.1

Bio & Career

Many of her works have looked at the depiction and comprehension of public space and landscape. With moving image she creates factual and fictional narratives that present alternative experiences of land, place and identity. These stories include ‘A Glimpse of Common Territory’ where fictional 19th century characters are trapped in a 20th century modernist industrial tower within a 21st century house estate; and ‘Looking for Gary’ where she searches a street in London for a man called Gary to replace another man she can’t get access to. These films feature the triumphs and failures of protagonists struggling to be seen, remembered or heard as they fight for agency. In 2013 Michelle her first documentary feature,‘Breaking Ground: the Story of the London Irish Women’s Centre’, Her moving image work is distributed by LUX.

Michelle was awarded an Arts Council of Ireland Project Award for ‘1837 Absence’ a major moving image solo exhibition at Tromso Kunstforening, Norway in 2023. The film is being produced by Leif Magne Tangen an award winning film producer, a curator specialising in artistsʼ moving image and Director of Tromso Kunstforening.

In 2020 Michelle was appointed the Chair of the board of Irish Film London, a non profit organisation that champions Irish Film, TV and Animation across the UK. IFL runs a year-round programme of screenings, podcasts, industry and community workshops, the annual Irish Film London Awards, the St Brigid’s Day Film Festival each February, the St Patrick’s Film Festival each March and the annual Irish Film Festival London each November.

She is Lead Tutor for Documentary at MET Film School Short Courses London and Experimental Film Tutor for BA Filmmaking at MET. She also teaches regularly at NCAD Dublin, University of Sussex, Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design and Winchester School of Art. She is a former Tutor at Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art Oxford University and a Lecturer at University of Greenwich.

Michelle has also worked extensively as a film editor, originally working in Broadcast TV in the UK. She now specialises in working on both documentary films by independent filmmakers and artists’ films as a film editor, line producer and camera person. She has worked with Apple Europe, Channel 4, ITV, BBC as well as Critical Arts EnsembleMarcus CoatesWilliam HuntUrsula MayerAxel StrachnoyJasmina CibicNick StewartMairead McCleanLucy ReynoldsSarah BakerRachel MayeriChris Fite-Wassilak and Tom FlanaganAnne TallentireRosemary Toner.2