Meet the Indigenous woman who is dominating the Australian art scene in 2017

helen mccarthy tyalmuty art prize
Helen McCarthy Tyalmuty / Copyright - Kate Owen Gallery

2017 is proving to be a huge year for Indigenous artist Helen McCarthy Tyalmuty from Tennant Creek in the Northern Territory.

Helen McCarthy Tyalmuty is a Wadjigan woman & former teacher who has made a full time career from her art since 2003. This career has taken her across Australia and overseas with exhibitions in London and Singapore. She now collaborates with Kate Owen gallery in Sydney who are thrilled to be riding the wave of success that has come her way in 2017.

So far this year, Helen has taken out the Margaret Olley Art Award – (Mosman Art Prize) & was the Highly Commended Award Winner – (Paddington Art Prize). Helen was also a finalist for both the Mossman & Paddington’s major art prize of 2017. Helen is also a finalist for the Georges River Art Prize which is yet to be announced.

Helen previously took out the peoples choice award at the 2007 Telstra National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art Award where she painted Tyemeny Liman’s Wutinggi (Grandpa Harry’s Canoe), the last canoe her Grandfather ever made. Another claim to fame of Helen’s and a little known fact to many Australian’s is that she was the artist behind Oprah Winfrey’s backdrop when she filmed her show in Australia back in 2011.

The Dry Season Helen McCarthy Tyalmuty
The Dry Season / Helen McCarthy Tyalmuty

During the last few years Helen has spent more and more time connecting with country around Daly River. She believes that this time spent on country and connecting with Elders has helped bring new life to her artwork and the subsequent success that she is now having. Helen comes from Balgal country in the western Wagait area of the Top End (around a two and a half hour drive south west of Darwin). Helen was born in Tennant Creek, but her ancestors are from saltwater country, along the Wadjigan coast. Her language is Batjamalh and her totem is the mud crab.

To check out more of her artwork, visit the Kate Owen Gallery here.

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