Carmel Mooney is a contemporary Irish artist, born in Kilkenny, who now lives and works in Dublin. Her paintings are informed by her travels throughout Ireland, and Europe, and her interest in landscape and mythology. A particular fascination with volcanoes and volcanic landscapes became a theme of her paintings from the 1990’s onwards, and she often visits Lanzarote in the Canary Islands and Mount Etna in Sicily, in search of inspiration for her paintings. As an artist, Carmel Mooney has not limited herself just to painting; she has also produced a series of sculptural glass “Fantasy Birds”, as a result of being invited in 2001 to collaborate with the Berengo Fine Arts Glass Studio in Venice. More recently her work in glass has been inspired by the carved figure of the “Sheela-na-Gig” – a female figure with exaggerated genitalia found on churches and castles throughout Europe, with the highest concentration of these figures being in Ireland. Mystery surrounds the origin of these carved figures, which may have been used to ward off evil, or may have been pre-Christian symbols of fertility. Mythology and its significance in the landscape is a predominant theme of her artwork, with many of her paintings featuring the stone circles and fairy trees that evoke Ireland’s pre-Christian past.