Painting gives you a reason to yarn up about your stories, if I wasn’t painting, I wouldn’t know anything I’ve learnt. I wouldn’t know what my totems is, I wouldn’t know who my mob was or who my Aunties and Uncles are, I wouldn’t know any of that.
Thelma is a Palawa woman with family ties to the islands North West of Tasmania. Thelma grew up in Swan Hill, a small town on the Murray River in the Loddon Mallee region. Most of Thelma’s work is inspired by her totem, the Tasmanian Emus. She first started creating work with The Torch in 2016 and has over those years found a unique painting style using bold, often primary coloured backgrounds with 2D depictions of emus. Thelma has a dedicated practice and has recently been exploring incorporating landscapes into her scenes. She loves connecting with her culture including researching the practice of muttonbirding, a traditional hunting method for Aboriginal Tasmanians.
Thelma has sold her work to dedicated private collectors who own several of her pieces.
Thelma was the 2019 recipient of The Torch’s Dennis Thorpe Award and has recently exhibited at Dark Mofo in The Tench, an exhibition curated by Theia Connell.
2020 Dennis Thorpe Award
City of Melbourne, Melbourne
Specialist Family Violence Court, Frankston
Epworth Richmond, Richmond
2021 Banj Banj/nawnta, Counihan Gallery, Brunswick Vic
2021 The Tench, Dark Mofo, Hobart Penitentiary, Hobart TAS
2021 Confined 12, Glen Eira City Council Gallery, Caulfield VIC
2020 Maritime Art Award, Mission to Seafarers, Docklands
2020 Koorie Art Show, Koorie Heritage Trust, Melbourne VIC
2020 Confined 11, The Torch Gallery & www.thetorch.org.au/confined11
2019 Koorie Art Show, Koorie Heritage Trust, Melbourne VIC
2019 Confined 10, Carlisle St Art Space, St Kilda VIC
2018 Confined 9, Carlisle St Art Space, St Kilda VIC
2017 Confined 8, Carlisle St Art Space, St Kilda VIC
Showing the single artwork