Born 1953 Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Lives and works Sydney.
Marie McMahon’s work has touched on social, political and environmental subjects. She has lived in the Northern Territory, and a number of her exhibitions were concerned with its natural environment, specific sites, flora, social significance and cultural history.
McMahon grew up on Air Force bases in Darwin, at Richmond near Sydney, and at Albatross, a naval base on the South Coast of New South Wales. During the 1960s her family lived in the Philippines and eventually settled in Sydney. She joined the Earthworks Poster Collective at the Tin Sheds Art Workshop, University of Sydney, in 1976 and contributed to a catalogue of posters that were sometimes didactic and often provocative. She was one of several screenprinters recruited by the Aboriginal Arts Board to work at Tiwi Designs in the Northern Territory, where she went in 1980.
During the 1980s McMahon worked as a designer at Redback Graphix in Wollongong and Sydney, where a number of collaborative and cross-cultural print projects were realised, including the poster ‘You are on Aboriginal land’ and the Australian Government’s health promotion ‘Beat the grog’ and ‘Condoman’ AIDS awareness campaign, developed in collaboration with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workers. McMahon worked in the Tiwi Islands from 1988, living at Batchelor south of Darwin until 1996, and from 2000 to 2001 at Gunbalanya, Arnhem Land, where she produced a series of collages interpreting the landscapes around her. Her most recent works, from 2009–10, have dealt with political conflict in Indochina and Cambodia.