Helen McCarthy Tyalmuty

Helen McCarthy Tyalmuty

Known also as: Helen McCarthy

Date of Birth: 1972

Region: Tennant Creek, NT

Language:  Batjamal

Helen was born at Tennant Creek and a significant part of her childhood was spent at Daly River. She finished her schooling at Herberton, on the Atherton Tablelands in far north Queensland. Helen then attended The Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Education in the Northern Territory, followed by completing her degree at Deakin University in 1994. During Helen’s time at university her interest in art developed. For ten years, she combined teaching in remote communities and exploring her painting.

Helen is driven to learn as much as possible about her culture and country from her elders. Her grandfather was a canoe maker, one that Helen says was the best canoe maker in the country. He ceased making canoes once he heard that an education would help his children and they moved to educate the children at Cox Peninsula.

Helen’s art is contemporary and can be abstract, bold, complex, mulit-layered and colourful. Inspiration comes from her culture but also her non-indigenous education. Helen’s work has gained recognition from significant Australian galleries and collectors. Her prominence even lead to her being asked to paint the stage backdrop for The Oprah Winfrey Show that was filmed in Sydney in 2011.