Alice Maher received her early education at Ballydrehid National School and at Coláiste Chríost Rí, Cahir. She later graduated from the University of Limerick and the Crawford College of Art in Cork. Then she undertook an MA at the University of Ulster, Belfast from 1985-86. She spent time in San Francisco Art Institute in 1986 as a Fulbright Scholar.
Alice Maher works in a range of media, often from outside the tradition of fine art and more from the natural and domestic world, such as hair, nettles, bees, thorns. She has explored the themes of childhood and death, such as Mnemosyne, 2003, wherein she creates a bedlike structure constructed from refrigerator coils; when the coils become frosty they gleam a luminous white sheen. She is interested in how identities, particularly gendered identities, are constructed from the peculiar texture history and culture give to artefacts that surround us.[tone]
The artist's work was the subject of a survey show at the Irish Museum of Modern Art in 2012 titled Becoming. The exhibition took place in the IMMA's temporary location at Earlsfort Terrace as the museum was undergoing renovations at the time.
Alice Maher has collaborated with artists from a range of disciplines. She has collaborated with composer Trevor Knight since 1999. Knight produces the soundtracks for her animated videos. Visitant, a live show combining dance, music and visual art, was a collaboration between Alice Maher, Trevor Knight, Butoh dancer Gyohei Zaitsu and musician Áine O'Dwyer. Visitant was performed at the Project Arts Centre in 2014.