Palya Proper Fine Art, NT
Cooee Art, NSW
Helen McCarthy Tyalmuty was born at Tennant Creek in 1972. She spent most of her childhood at Nauiyu Nambiyu Community at Daly River, about 230 kms south of Darwin.
Later Helen completed her education at Mount St Bernard College at Herberton on the Atherton Tablelands in far north Queensland. She then went on to study teaching, completing her Bachelor of Arts in Education at Deakin University in 1994. During her time at university Helen’s art career began to take shape, and by 1993 she was already involved in her first art festival. Helen’s painting continued to develop after moving into teaching full time, and for 10 years she successfully combined a job as a teacher in remote communities with her painting activities.
Helen McCarthy Tyalmuty had her first solo exhibition in 2006 in Sydney and further exhibitions followed in Melbourne and Singapore. In August 2007, Helen was honoured to receive the People’s Choice Award at the 24th Telstra National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art Award for her painting Tyemeny Liman’s Wutinggi (Grandpa Harry’s Canoe). She says of her grandfather: “In his day he was the best canoe maker in his country. It’s a sad story and a good story at the same time. It’s the last canoe that he ever made.” Tyalmuty’s grandfather stopped making canoes when he heard that education would help his children. He left his country with a heavy heart and sent his children to school on the Cox Peninsula. Tyemeny Liman passed away in June 2007, aged 91.
Helen now devotes herself to painting full time and is being quickly recognised as one of Australia’s rising stars. She spends her time in her community at Balgul and with her family in Darwin. As well as painting, Helen is a committed family woman with a son and four sisters and is passionate about helping underprivileged children from all races.Share