Zhenia Mahdi-NauI’m an artist and filmmaker, currently undertaking a Ph.D. research at the University of Brighton, investigating the states of peak-experience and flow in consciousness in the creative production of Screendance for filmmaker. My new film Becoming (2023) has been made as part of my practice to inform my research.

Based in Belfast, Northern Ireland, my work spans over film and photography, painting and illustration, fashion, digital arts, animation and motion graphics.

I have a strong interest in contemporary dance and movement and have worked with a number of contemporary dancers. I have been developing  body of lens-based dance work which began during my residency at Tyrone Gutherie Centre in Ireland

I was trained as a fashion designer at Epsom School of Art where I began to delve into figurative painting and illustration. I later moved to Northern Ireland and worked for MaxMara in Italy as a freelance fashion designer for 10 years until 2009.

I returned to studying and completed a degree in Visual Communication and then my Masters in Future Communications at University of Ulster in Belfast.

I have made Screendance films including Ode to Gaia (2023) for DuDance and documentary films with a particular emphasise on personal stories including 5 shorts for 2015 Invisible Barriers, Moving Images Film Festival for Golden Thread Gallery and Belfast Film Festival, my feature film Tapestry of Colours (2012) which was made into a creative interactive educational resource for post-primary schools and young people, short films for City of Dublin Educational CDVEC and NI Hospice and short ‘Living in the Half Light’ (2009) featured on the C2K Teachers Network.

I have recorded improvisational vocals for film sound tracks for films including More4 Channel’s  ‘Monkey Love’ by Doubleband 2006, feature film ‘Pump Girl’ Dir. Carol Moore 2009 and ‘Ancient Skies’ 2012, Dir. Grant Wakefield. My vocals also feature on Banco De Gaia’s 2013 album Apollo.

I have also carried out extensive work in managing projects training and facilitation of children, youth and adults in digital arts and film making to music and visual arts.  Clients include Ulster University, OMAC, Connecting Cultures, Beyond Skin, WEA and SureSkills. I also worked as a full-time senior multimedia trainer and schools programme coordinator for Nerve Belfast (Studio ON) from 2008 -2011 and as director and project manager of Tapestry of Colours creative and educational projects in 2013-2014.

I currently work as a freelance artist filmmaker and deliver trainings in Adobe Premier Pro, Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator to organisations and companies.