Born in Kilkenny, Carmel Mooney lives and works in Dublin, Ireland. She studied at the National College of Art & Design and later University College Dublin where she holds a Diploma in the History of European Painting.
Carmel Mooney began to emerge as a serious painter within the Irish art world with her first solo exhibition at the Lincoln Gallery, Dublin, in 1983. Her early work reflected a childhood affinity with the countryside, expressed in landscape paintings of bogs, fields and cattle, and still life paintings including a recurring subject, birds. A lecturer in the History of Painting, she was also Artistic Director at Daon Scoil, An Daingean, from 1981 to 1991.
In 1989 she spent time at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre at Annaghmakerrig, Co Monaghan, concentrating on strengthening the structure of her painterly work, in particular the role of line. A year later a visit to Lanzarote introduced her to its volcanic landscape, and she subsequently returned many times to work there. These two events proved a significant turning point in the development of her work and heralded the introduction of her volcanic series of paintings, first shown at an exhibition in Dublin in 1993. A fascination with volcanoes has also taken her regularly to the still active Mount Etna in Sicily. She is a member of l'Association Volcanologique Européenne.
In 1996 a collaboration with composer John Buckley resulted in the painting 'Skybound', which was reproduced as the cover for Buckley's CD 'Symphony No. 1 Organ Concerto'. In a more recent collaboration, the artist was selected to represent Ireland in the Murano Venezia Europa Exhibition in Brussels in September 2001 in which work from her volcanic series was realised in glass sculpture by Berengo Glass Masters of Murano, Venice. This exhibition of contemporary glass art travelled to the then 15 European represented countries.
A book entitled 'That Space Between' was published in 2001, covering work from over 20 years. Landscape painting remains a continuing theme.
Over the last few years she has worked in Murano, Venice, with the master glass makers of the Berengo Foundation. There she has created installations of 'Firebird' ™. Having earlier created a series of 'Fantasy Birds' ™; she continued to work on this theme.
These and her sculptures of "submerged" glass were exhibited at the the Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland, Merrion Sq., Dublin. ( May 2006)