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Dervla O'Flaherty is an Irish artist working with paint and wood. Her work generally explores ideas of space and place in relation to memory, darkness and the unknown.


​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. Dervla has undertaken projects and exhibitions as an artist-in-resident in Ireland, India, Iceland, Cyprus and Hungary.

Artist Statement

The research behind my work delves into myth, memory, the unknown, and the exploration of significant places, using these concepts as the lens to bring forward ideas into images.

My practice is extremely process led. Layering plays a pivotal role both physically through techniques like glazing, cutting, carving, and overlapping materials and also conceptually, with layers of meaning and unseen worlds interwoven and overlayed. The work itself is layered, lurid, multi levelled, process-driven paintings, forming ongoing overlapping series of artworks.


Akin to poetry, certain types of art allow access to the unconscious. My painting is a deliberate reordering of known elements into wild unknown places where it’s possible to discover new worlds and new meaning. My current painting series ‘Otherworld Problems’ explores access points and entrances in myth and memory, which includes building a visual lexicon of maps, doorways, windows, wells and rabbit holes. Anything could happen, said the poet C.D. Wright, in the strange cities of the mind.

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