Institute of Art Design + Technology
Dún Laoghaire

Mai Maher 

BA [Hons] Production Design

Mai is a Dublin based Production Designer with a passion for model making and designing sets for theatre and films of all genres. Mai is enthusiastic, hardworking, dependable and thrives in a space full of other passionate creatives. Her current skill sets include, working digitally with the use of AutoCad and Sketchup alongside Illustrator, creating construction drawings and story-boarding.

Major Project - The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

The Yellow Wallpaper is set in the late 19th century. It follows the journey of a woman’s declining mental health as she was prescribed ‘rest cure’ by her husband and doctors, I wanted to emphasize the fact that the narrator of the novella is unreliable due to her struggle with her mental health and aimed to do this through the set.
I first began by presenting the set as a film set in studio to highlight the fact that it is an invented place where the story takes place.
I deconstructed the house in studio, which represents the narrators mind. This allows you to see how the narrator, due to her rapidly declining mental health over the duration of the book, cannot be trusted or taking literally as she has become so far detached from reality and herself which I aimed to reflect in the set design.
I also chose to keep her and the set pieces in period with the text as she is unaware that her reality is fabricated and wanted to show that through the props, wardrobe and makeup.
I was conceptually inspired by the films I'm thinking of ending things and Dogville .

Thesis - The Exploration of Demonology and Catholicism in American Horror Cinema

My thesis explores the use of Catholic and Pagan symbology in American spiritual horror films. It maintains a particular focus on William Friedkin's The Exorcist and Mikael Hafstrom's The Rite. It explores how the symbols within these films work in unison to create a blend between the spiritual and physical worlds and how this is vital in the creation of the particular genre in which these films exist.
Following that, my dissertation navigates through the origin of the symbology within the films to emphasise authority that certain religious and spiritual belief systems have on society.