Jacqueline Fahey was a lecturer at the Elam School of Fine Arts at the University of Auckland during the 1980s and 90s. She began her studies at the Canterbury College School of Art in Christchurch, where she was taught by the illustrator Russell Clark. She started painting during the 1950s but had three children in quick succession, which temporarily halted her painting career. Fahey was one of the first NZ female artists to paint from a women's perspective, expressing feminist concerns. During the 1950s, her feminist subject matter was highly unconventional, which found her later moving on to the subject of politics and urbanisation. She was selected in 1985 to represent NZ at the Sydney Perspecta. Fahey has been involved in the publication of a few books such as Cutting Loose (1998), Something for the Birds (2006) and Before I Forget (2012). Fahey was named Officer of the Order for her services to art in 1997. She also received an Arts Foundation Icon Award, which is an award usually reserved to 20 incredible NZ artists and is known as one of the Arts Foundations' highest honour.