Dervla O'Flaherty is an Irish artist working mainly with paint and wood. Her work explores links between ideas of identity, place and the unknown. When we find ourselves in new and unfamiliar territory, imagination begins to take hold, collaging elements from the familiar onto the unknown. In her painting, symbolic references and instinctual mark making inhabit familiar places, wild imaginary landscapes as well as the underground world of the unconscious. Each painting is a journey to an unknown place, actively exploring how an individual maps terrain in unique ways. Methods of coating and recoating, removing and overlapping material reveal histories of the work; decisions, desires, mistakes, second guessing, wrong turns and resolve. While giving us a sense of where we are, they are reluctant to direct us to any concrete landmark, person, place or thing. Anything could happen, says the poet CD Wright, in the strange cities of the mind.
Dervla graduated from the National College of Art & Design, Dublin (NCAD) in 2012 with a BA (hons) in Fine Art Painting & Art History. She completed postgraduate studies in Fine Art at Cyprus College of Art, Paphos (CCA) in 2014. She has undertaken recent projects as an artist-in-residence in Ireland, Iceland and Hungary. Her work is included in various private and public collections including the Office of Public Works (OPW), Kerry County Council and AXA Insurance. Dervla has just completed an Artist in Residence Fellowship in India and is preparing to undertake a project in Macedonia as well as a residency at Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Annaghmakerrig in 2016, with support from Kerry County Council bursary.