'The giant coils of Coma Berenices are seen from a distance clearly as images of entwining hair, while up close they become all-enveloping curtains of line and energy. They are knots of drawing that shift between the gigantic and the miniature, the single and the multiple image. But most of all they are knots of the labour and time, memory and longing that went into their making.' (Alice Maher, 1999, in exh.cat. op.cit, p.59)
The series of four monumental Coma Berenices were the result of the period the artist spent in residence at The Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane in 1998 when she was specifically asked to look at The Hugh Lane's collection of works on paper. She was particualarly inspired by Keith Henderson's Sleep and Anima errante by Paul Klee, 'two works from the opposing poles of art history' (Maher, op.cit., p.58).
Born in Cahir, Co. Tipperary, Maher studied at the University of Ulster, Belfast and at the San Franciso Art Institute in California. Amongst many other important exhibitions, her work was included in Irish Art of the Eighties at the Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin; Strongholds: New Art from Ireland at the Tate Gallery, London and Art, Grandeur, Nature at Seine Saint-Denis, Paris. Her work is also held in the permanent collection of museums such as the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin; The Hugh Lane, Dublin and in the Collection of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.