Institute of Art Design + Technology
Dún Laoghaire

Saoirse Whelan 

BA [Hons] Design for Stage + Screen Character MakeUp Design

I became interested in special effects make-up at an early age and always knew it was something I wanted to pursue as a career. It wasn't until I completed my first year of college that I discovered my love of storytelling and since then I have developed this skill and my ability to design realistic, well-rounded characters. I have also developed a wide range of skills, including technical makeup, sculpting, mould making, and prosthetic application. I have accomplished a lot in these short few years and look forward to working on future projects.


Seasick written by Molly Aitken is a contemporary short story based on the Celtic myth of a Selkie woman who has her seal cloak stolen by an older man putting her under his power. They get married and have many children but one day her youngest daughter finds her cloak and when it is returned to her the woman flees back into the sea never to be seen again. Seasick is told from the perspective of a six-year-old boy called Colm and revolves around his relationship with his mother. Like the Selkie woman from the original Folk Tale, Colm's mother feels trapped in an unhappy marriage and begins to distance herself from her children. The story culminates in Colm's mother taking her own life by walking into the sea. Colm interprets this as his mother transforming into a Selkie and entering the sea to return to her brothers and sisters. Colm's experience is one I can personally relate to, so for this project, I decided to focus on how Colm deals with the trauma of losing his mother through imagination and play.

From Atomic Allegory to King of the Monsters: An Exploration of Godzilla’s Shifts in Identity Over the Past Six Decades

In a global post-war environment, people were looking for an outlet for their trauma while not upsetting the delicate status quo that had been achieved at the end of World War II. The war ended in 1945 when Japan became the first and last country to experience the devastation of the atomic bomb forcing them to surrender unconditionally. In the years following the war Japan was occupied by the US, open criticism of the bomb was
unacceptable. Film was considered the perfect medium for voicing the collective Japanese psyche. In 1954 the film “Gojira” was one of the first films that took on the bomb as it’s subject matter. This dissertation explores the history of Godzilla, focusing on what the character represents and how he has been used to enhance and dismantle political opinions over the past six decades.