Teena McCarthy is a visual artist and poet who works predominantly in painting, photography and performance art. She graduated in 2014 from UNSW Art & Design with a Bachelor of Fine Arts with Distinction.
McCarthy is an Italian/Barkindji woman who is a descendant of The Stolen Generations. Her work documents her family’s displacement and Aboriginal Australian’s loss of Culture and their ‘hidden’ history. While acknowledging the intergenerational pain of post colonialism, McCarthy uses wit, humour and pathos to explore her own identity. Synchronicity also comes into play in McCarthy’s experimental painting, often determining its outcome and informing its own materiality.
McCarthy has exhibited extensively over the past seven years, most recently in Four Women: (I do belong) Double, curated by Djon Mundine OAM, Lismore Regional Gallery, 2017, and in Realising Mother, curated by Zurica Pulija, with co-curators Sandy Edwards and Luke Letourneau, Kudos Galleries, UNSW Art & Design, 2017. Her work from this show was featured in an article and interview in The Sydney Morning Herald.
Other exhibitions that Teena McCarthy had participated in includes The 70th Year Mosman Art Prize at Mosman Art Gallery, 2017, selected by Kirsten Paisley, Deputy Director of National Gallery of Australia; A Widening Gap: The Intervention, 10 Years On, curated by Djon Mundine OAM, at The Cross Arts Project, Potts Point, 2017; When are the Bush Marys Coming, as Featured Artist at Cementa ‘17, curated by Ann Finnegan, plus a 12 day artists residency in Kandos, NSW; Blak Mirror, curated by Jason Wing, 107 Projects Gallery, Redfern, 2107; Summer Sojourn, Art Atrium, Bondi Junction, 2016; ARTLANDS Old Lands, New Marks exhibition, curated by Djon Mundine OAM, as Featured Artist, Dubbo Regional Gallery, 2016; The Redfern Biennale, curated by Damien Minton, 2015 & 2014; and That I May be of Service – Motto of the Clan Foley, curated by Djon Mundine OAM at The Rocks Discovery Museum, 2015 & 2014.
McCarthy was a finalist in the Mosman Art Prize 2017, NSW Parliament Aboriginal Art Prize 2015 & 2014, and in 2013 was commissioned to paint the cover of the UNSW Law Faculty’s Reconciliation Action Plan, a painting which was later acquired for the UNSW Permanent Art Collection.
In 2011 McCarthy curated iNTervention Intervention, a protest exhibition about the Northern Territory Emergency Response Act, aka The Intervention, under Brendan Penzar’s Curator Mentorship Program at ATVP gallery. This show drew local and international acclaim, and the exhibition was recently acknowledged as the first of its kind in the book ‘And there’ll be NO dancing’: Perspectives on Policies Impacting Indigenous Australia since 2007 (Baehr, E. & Schmidt-Haberkamp, B. Eds. 2017, Cambridge Scholars Publishing).