Dawn was born in Omagh, Co. Tyrone in 1963 and studied at Queen\'s University, Belfast. She has lived in Dundee since 1986 where she enjoys a career as a lecturer and researcher in microbiology painting in her spare time. Throughout her childhood and adulthood she has painted the scenes around her. Forgoing her interest in art, Dawn trained in science. She learnt drawing skills under the tuition of the Dundee artist Vincent Rattray in the 1990s. Her work relates now to the poetry and science of animal husbandry.