Born in 1980, Maria Tanner Cohen is an Irish artist, writer, and curator based in An Rinne Gaeltacht in Co. Waterford.
In 2005 Maria received her honours degree in Fine Art from the Limerick School of Art and Design at which time she was mentored by notable artists such as Dougal McKenzie, and Mark O’Kelly.
In 2010 she undertook her postgraduate studies with MA vis, IADT, Dun Laoghaire under the tutelage of Dr. Maeve Connolly and prominent Irish artists Amanda Ralph and Sean Lynch. Specialising in art critical writing, the formal development of Maria's practice focused on questions of contemporary art in a post -communist Eastern Europe, developing a critical enquiry into the artistic appropriation of dystopian space and addressing the question of what happens post identity. In an extensive research essay on the topic, Maria had the opportunity to collaborate with internationally acclaimed artist Tanja Ostojic in her published essay titled - Revolt and Agonism - Virtual Democracy and the question of Post Identity. Maria has gone on to publish numerous exhibition reviews, catalog essays and experimental writing both nationally and internationally.
In 2011, while on a writers residency in Szczecin, Poland through collaboration with artistic director and curator Bartosz Nowack, 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 most recent of which, received Project Award from the Irish Arts Council. Other awards she has received include Cork County Council Arts Office Arts Award, Youghal CU Community Development Fund, Art and Health Award, HSE South ,Vibrant Ireland funding, Culture Ireland Travel Award.
Distilling knowledge and ideas from the world around her, in 2016 the artist made the decision to return to the studio and resume her practice as a painter. Working for two years on a new body of work, in 2018, the artist successfully launched her debut solo exhibition titled Ether and Verse in both the Mall Arts Center, Co. Cork and the Old Market House Arts Center, Co. Waterford. The artist has subsequently gone on to produce two new and exciting bodies of work titled Silent Stone and These Lost Lands which uniquely explore unknown internal and mythological Irish landscapes.
Working to explore material essence of a place, the artist has begun to forage stones from the mineral kingdom to create her own pigments that express something of what she calls the ground Archetype of places.