Paula Mahoney uses art as an expression of lamentation and a way to mediate her relationship to death. She explores the arbitrariness of death and personal loss using performative photography and portraiture. Seeing death as a necessary and optimistic viewpoint, which should be held close. Acknowledging, that in the face of death, we are presented with the horror of what will happen to us all: we will cease and the body will decay. It is in these moments that we share in our universal fragility and vulnerability. Suggesting psychological shifts that create an awareness of our limits, and connect us, to each other, and to a greater whole.
Mahoney is interested in the notion of control of her 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 death, her self-mourning, and an exploration of collective mourning.
Mahoney holds a PhD at Monash University, Using Photography as an Analogy in the Experience of Death and 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. Her work is held in public and private collections both in Australia and the USA.