Selected for Portia Geach Memorial Award 2019 – S.H. Ervin Gallery Sydney

Exhibition  Thursday 1st August – Sunday 15th September  2019

Portrait of Teena McCarthy in Flannelette Shirt  – Artist and Poet

acrylic on canvas  70 x 55cm   2019

Teena McCarthy is a multi-media artist and poet working predominantly in painting, photography and performance art. She is an Italian/Barkindji woman who is a descendant of the Stolen Generations. Born in Western Australia she graduated in 2014 from UNSW Art & Design with a Bachelor of Fine Arts.


Her work documents her family’s displacement and Aboriginal Australians’ loss of culture and their ‘hidden’ history. Much of her art focuses on her Barkindji ‘nanna’ Kath Mary McCarthy and also honours her mother Elina Erina McCarthy.

While acknowledging the intergenerational pain of post colonialism, McCarthy uses wit, humour and pathos to explore her identity.

I painted Teena because she is so impressive as an artist and as a person. There is sadness but strength in her eyes. The expressions on her face tell a very personal story, of the ups and downs she’s been through. She’s straightforward, direct, funny, humble and yet fiercely honest and independent. I painted her incorporating some of her favourite colours –  brown, red and blue.