Helen McCarthy Tyalmuty was born at Tennant Creek in 1972. She spent her childhood at Nauiyu Nambiyu Community, Daly Rive, NT. Helen went to Mount St Bernard College at Herberton on the Atherton Tablelands in Far North Queensland. She studied teaching at the Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Education in the N.T. and completing her degree at Deakin University in 1994. It was during this time at Deakin University that Helen’s artistic career started. In 1993, she was involved in art festivals. She developed her artistic career while teaching full time for 10 years. In 2003, Helen began painting full time, gradually developing her skills and creating her own style to illustrate her dreaming’s.
Helen’s first solo exhibition was in 2006 in Sydney and she quickly began showcasing her works in many solo and group exhibitions around Australia and overseas. Her piece for the 24th Telstra National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art Award was awarded the People’s Choice Award. In 2008 she was a finalist in the Telstra National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art Awards.
In 2011, Helen was commissioned to paint the artwork used as the stage backdrop for the Oprah Winfrey show that was filmed in Australia.
In 2015 Helen returned to her childhood home at Daly River to her community and her country which is her inspiration for her pieces. She drew on her passion to learn more about her culture and her country from the enders as well as experimenting with styles and techniques. She started producing intricate dot works incorporating delicate brush strokes of abstract imagery using bright and bold colours playing with space and form.
Helen’s passion is to continually learn about her country and culture from the elders. Her ability to communicate her stories through her art using multi-layered and complex designs are somewhat solemn.
Helen draws her inspiration from all around her. She has a deep connection to her country and traditions associated with living in the bush and stories from her family and elders. The combination of her formal training as an artist and the foundations of her culture give contemporary interpretations to her ancient dreaming stories making her a distinct voice in the Indigenous art scene today.