Helen McCarthy Tyalmuty (HM-1004) – (120cm x 180cm)
Acrylic on Linen
- Artist Biography
Artist: Helen McCarthy Tyalmuty
Size: 120cm x 180cm
Medium: Acrylic on Linen
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Helen McCarthy Tyalmuty was born at Tennant Creek in 1972. She spent most of her childhood at the Nauiyu Nambiyu Community at Daly River, about 230kms south of Darwin. Helen later completed her education at Mount St Bernard College at Herberton on the Atherton Tablelands in far north Queensland. She 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. Her ‘Marrawuk’ paintings are based on Helen’s Grandfather, Grandmother and their family’s travels to the northern parts of Australia in the dry season looking for food, by foot or canoe. This painting depicts the middle of the dry season at Balgul. When they attended ceremonies they spent the seasons looking for food, they used specific landmarks to follow, allowing them to know which direction to travel when hunting and gathering or going to sacred sites for ceremonies. Landmarks such as hills, large trees, water holes or rocky outcrops were used to help them find their way. They usually burnt the landscape before their journey. This allows for new growth, and also allows wallabies, kangaroos and other edible bush animals to feed.