Colours - Female Indigenous Artist is a female artist born in Australia, currently working in Darlinghurst, DARLINGHURST, New South Wales, Australia.
Colours - Female Indigenous Artist image

United Galleries is delighted to present newly commissioned paintings from 3 Indigenous women artists Emily Pwerle from Utopia, Liddy Napanangka Walker from Yuendumu and Helen McCarthy Tyalmuty from the Daly River – all strikingly different through technique and application although aligned by their flamboyant use of paint.
This inspiring exhibition celebrates colour, creativity and the telling of stories. The vibrant pallette and the love of colour – from bold brush strokes to delicate dotting – each painting is a contemporary interpretation of tradition, ceremony and ancestoral stories.

Liddy Walker was born at Mt Doreen in 1925 and spent her younger years living with her family in bush camps. She regularly visits her country around Mt Theo and Tanami desert. Liddy has lived in Yuendumu, a Warlpiri community in the Tanami 300km northwest of Alice Springs, since it was first established and has worked in the community in various pastoral care roles including as a cook. She stated painting on canvas not long after Warlukurlangu Artists Aboriginal Association was established in the mid 1980’s and is now one of its most senior and successful members.
“I paint my father Japangardi’s Dreaming and my grandfather’s Dreaming. Mt Theo is my father’s country and that’s what I painting the special Dreamings from. The Dreamings I paint are bush tomato; goanna … Goanna likes to fight and is a lover boy. And I paint seed pods and bush potato and hopping mouse. There are lots of stories … I paint strongly.” Liddy Walker
Liddy’s paintings have been widely exhibited every year since 1985 all over Australia and overseas in the UK, Florida & Seattle in the US many times, Paris, Germany, South Korea and Singapore totalling an amazing 110 exhibitions. Her work is extensively collected and is held in the Art Museum in Utrecht, the National Gallery of Australia collection, Canberra, the Art Gallery of NSW, the South Australian Museum, Adelaide and Artbank to name a few as well as many private institutions and corporate collections.

(Women’s Business and Ceremonies)
Emily Pwerle (1922- ), a younger sister of Minnie Pwerle (1914-2006) lives at Irrultja, a tiny settlement at Utopia, 300km northeast of Alice Springs with her two sisters Molly and Galya Pwerle. Emily started painting some 5 years ago and much like her older sister Minnie, it was immediate that she had her own style and palette that made her unique.
The depth and linear complexity of Emily Pwerle’s paintings have their origins in the separate dreaming symbols which the artist brings together on each of her canvases. Awelye, an Anmatyerre word, refers to women’s business and to ceremonies associated with ritual knowledge owned only by women. Through their Awelye ceremonies women pay homage to their ancestors, show respect for their country and dance out their collective maternal role within their community. Awelye is never performed in the presence of men.
Awelye also refers to the designs which the women paint on each other’s upper bodies as a crucial part of ceremonial occasions. Natural ochres, charcoal and ash are all used to paint these designs onto their chests, breasts and upper arms. The designs they use are passed down through many generations and only the Pwerle or Kemarre owners can paint them. Each woman is allowed to bring her own style to the painting of the design. The following paintings have been commissioned from the artist especially for the United Galleries ‘Colours’ Exhibition.

People’s Choice winner Helen McCarthy with her painting at the 2007 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art award (Telstra Prize)
Helen McCarthy Tyalmuty was born at Tennant Creek in 1972. After spending most of her childhood at Nauiyu Nambiyu Community (Daly River), Helen completed her education at Mount St Bernard College at Herberton on the Atherton Tablelands in far north Queensland. Helen then went on to study teaching, completing her Bachelor of Art in Education at Deakin University in 1994. It was during this time at university that Helen’s art career started to take shape. In 1993, she was already involved in her first art festival. Her painting continued to develop after moving into teaching full time. For 10 years she successfully combined a job as a teacher in remote communities with her painting activities.

Helen had her first solo exhibition in 2006 in Sydney and further exhibitions there, in Melbourne and Singapore have quickly followed. 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 Grandpa Harry’s Canoe.

Helen now devotes herself to painting full time. 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.

Helen is one of Australia’s rising stars of the Aboriginal art world and we are very fortunate to have commissioned her for these artworks back in October of last year. She is the winner of the People’s Choice Prize at the Telstra Award last year (largest Indigenous prize in Australia and richest in the world). Helen is painting some wonderful work currently and here for our Colours show she has executed one each of her Dreamings and stories. Many in the art world, since the Telstra Award win, are comparing Helen to Tommy Watson, the highly collectable senior Pitjantjatjara artist who pioneered the use of layers of vibrant colours to symbolically represent the country of his parents and grandparents. Tommy is now held in major State galleries and recently the Musee du Quai Branly in Paris and works sell for up to $200,000.