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Mahoney uses performative photography and portraiture to examine the arbitrariness of death and personal loss from a non-Christian perspective. She investigates lamentation in the works, suggesting psychological shifts that create an awareness of our limits, and connect us to each other, and to a greater whole. She acknowledges that where religion sees death as infinite, transcendence from the limits of mortality, in a largely secular society such as Australia, death is the ultimate limit. 

She is interested in the notion of control of her own mortality, while also paying homage to the ghosts of her parents and ancestors. The resulting works are at times her memento mori, a manifestation of her own death, her own self-mourning, and an exploration of collective mourning.

She has received two Highly Commended in the prestigious Olive Cotton Award, and has been a finalist in many major art prizes in Australia and abroad.