Eileen Mayo was born in London and trained in the classical tradition of drawing at the Slade School of Art, graduating in 1924. She also attended the Grosvenor School of Modern Art (1929) and was influenced by printmaker, Claude Flight, exhibiting in the British Lino exhibitions from 1927 to 1938.
She emigrated to Australia in 1953 and quickly established a reputation as an outstanding printmaker and designer. In 1956 she was employed by the Australian National Travel Association to create travel posters of Australia which are much loved to this day. She also illustrated books, wrote for Australian and English periodicals and designed distinctive Australian postage stamps and coins (1959-1962). In their decorative, elegant and thoughtful designs, Mayo’s works reveal the influence of her classical training and a particularly English aesthetic. As a conservationist and committed Christian her subject matter and meticulous attention to detail demonstrated a reverence and faith in the natural world and all its manifestations.
Although she moved to New Zealand to join her mother in 1962, Mayo continued to receive commissions from both countries and was created a Dame of the British Empire in the New Year's Honours List in 1994. Eileen Mayo’s work is held in the collections of the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney and the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra.