Artist Statement

Melissa O’Faherty is a visual artist working in the fields of contemporary drawing and painting. O’Faherty’s work reflects her interests in the celestial and relationships between the human and natural worlds. Our now nostalgic views of nature are challenged in a topsy turvy universe where biomorphic forms and gesturing characters take on relatable narratives. Slippage occurs between figuration and abstraction and the beautiful and the grotesque co-exist. Motifs of rebirth and recreation recur in the work often represented by seeds, pods & cocoons along with symbolically charged forms inhabiting gendered spaces.

O’Faherty’s aim is to create images ‘that when viewed, invoke a torrent of words’. Images that invite curiosity, giving the viewer a glimpse into dream-like surreal yet sometimes unrecognisable world.


Graduated from IADT, Dublin, Ireland (Vis Comm)1993. Recent exhibitions include Pallas Periodical Review #7, Dublin 2017. Solo exhibition at Mermaid Arts Centre, Co.Wicklow 2017. Royal Hibernian Academy, group annual 2016. Solo exhibition at Signal Arts Centre, Co.Wicklow 2016.

Residencies include Cill Railaig Artists Retreat, Co.Kerry 2016. Tyrone Gutherie Artist Centre, Co.Monaghan 2017, 2018.

Public collections Office Of Public Works, Ireland,  Royal College of Surgeons, Dublin, Ireland. Private and corporate collections nationwide.


Selected artwork “Exomoon Geysir”, purchased by OPW, Ireland for their permanent collection.

Ongoing project work with Drawing de-Centred, an artist-led collective and platform for exploring contemporary drawing.

Selected artist for Pallas Studios Periodical Review #7 curated exhibition of contemporary Irish art, Nov/Dec, Dublin.

Visual Artists Newsheet Article Nov/Dec issue, career development & trajectory.

2017 – 2018
Researching anatomy @ RCSI. Artwork “A Still Life” selected work for RCSI catalogue and permanent collection. Approved access for ongoing studies.

2016 – 2017
Mentored drawing & painting, Self-directed life drawing @RHA Academy, masterclass selections.

RHA , Dublin 186th Annual Exhibition “Suspended” Selected Drawing

Solo Show

‘Spaces of the Imagination’ at Mermaid Arts Centre, Co.Wicklow, May-June. A collection of drawings and installations based on the scientific findings of Exomoon planets and space exploration. Invited artist public talk.

“Drawings” by Melissa O’Faherty at Signal Art’s Centre, Bray, Co.Wicklow. A collection of drawings which examined the metaphors of birds and contrasting themes within nature.

VAI Contemporary Drawing Peer Group with Arno Kramer. Selected for peer group discussion from which a new artist collaboration ‘Drawing decentered’ has formed with ongoing group projects.


2017, 2018, 2019
Tyrone Guthrie , Co.Monaghan

Cill Rialaig Artist Retreat, Co.Kerry

Group Exhibitions

Drawing deCentered artist-led group show, the Model Co.Sligo, Project Centre, Co.Dublin.

Pallas Periodical Review 2017, selected artworks.

2017 – 2018
Incognitio @ Solomon Gallery, charity group show.

Signal Arts Society, Wicklow 16th Annual Show.

Culture Night 2015, Self Curated.


IDAT Visual Comm. Higher Dip, graduated in 1993.

Melissa worked in Graphic Design in the USA from 1992- 2000 on returning to Ireland she cofounded the design business, Doubleodesign, Blackrock, Co.Dublin.  Currently, she works from her studio practice in Delgany, Co.Wicklow. Member of Outpost Studios Salon meetings, member of Visual Artists Ireland.