Renowned artist, Helen Wiltshire, captivated the tropics with bold richly coloured paintings and prints, the exotic images of the tropical rainforest of Mission Beach she splashed across the canvas with bold decorative colours and shapes.
From 1980 artist Helen Wiltshire opened commercial galleries in Bingil Bay, Cairns, Mission Beach village, Palm Cove, Port Douglas and on Hamilton Island. These galleries exhibited her paintings as well as the work of many major contemporary north Queensland artists and craftspeople.
Helen Wiltshire exhibited widely across Australia as well as in Japan and the USA. Many business firms commissioned her to produce paintings, prints and murals including the Ayers Rock Resort Company, Mirage Resort, Port Douglas, Quicksilver Port Douglas; Cairns Port Authority; Dunk Island Resort; Castaways Resort, Mission Beach, Lizard Island Resort, Hamilton Island Resort; Hilton Wintergarden, Brisbane; Land-Rover, North America; Mission Beach Tourism and Trans Australia Airlines for Bedarra Island Resort.
Helen is recognised as one of Queensland’s and Australia’s most genuine and valuable artists and achieved worldwide recognition for her artwork. Her exhibitions touched the hearts of art lovers throughout Australia and overseas. Helen was widely known in her home town of Mission Beach for her beautiful artworks depicting the Great Barrier Reef , World Heritage Rainforest and her love of painting the bird life of North Queensland.
The walls of her gallery in Mission Beach are covered with beautiful images of the local bird life, sea creatures and exotic palms. Her work is sold exclusively from her gallery and this website. The Helen Wiltshire Gallery is located in the relaxed beachfront town of Mission Beach surrounded by World Heritage Reef and Rainforest.
1945 Born in Melbourne
1963 Graduated in art and design at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology and Prahran College of Technology, Melbourne
1964 Head, Fashion Design, for Ricki Reed Australia, Melbourne
1966 Established fashion and furniture fabrics firm Pryntar Fabrics, Melbourne, with husband Stephen Wiltshire and Bee Ewen. In 1967 The National Gallery of Victoria acquired a Pryntar textile swatch book with Helen Wiltshire designs
1969 Son Ben born
1971 Daughter Amanda born
1973 Moved from Melbourne to South Mission Beach, Queensland
1975 Lived on Bedarra Island with husband Stephen and children Amanda and Ben
1979 Solo exhibition, Holdsworth Galleries, Sydney
1979 Moved to Bingil Bay, Queensland; built a house/studio/gallery in Cutten Street
1980 Daughter Hilary born
1980s Continued to live part time on Bedarra Island
1982 Commissioned by Trans Australia Airlines to produce a series of limited edition prints for Bedarra Island Resort
1983 Commissioned by the Mission Beach Resort
1983 Solo exhibition, Upstairs Gallery, Cairns: gouache and acrylic paintings produced for Mission Beach Resort
1984 Participated in group exhibitions in Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego
1985 Tradewinds Resort Hotel, Cairns, acquired a collection of silk-screen prints
1985 Commissioned to produce 100 silk-screen prints for Castaways Resort, Mission Beach
1985 Commissioned by Hilton Wintergarden, Brisbane, to produce a series of limited-edition prints
1986 Commissioned by Sheraton Mirage Port Douglas Resort to create a limited-edition print series
1987 Solo exhibition, Owen Dixon Gallery (Owen Dixon Chambers), Melbourne
1988 Solo exhibition, Upstairs Gallery, Cairns
1989 Hamilton Island Resort commissioned a series of paintings and prints for the Resort’s hotel
1990 Group exhibition at the Pier Gallery, Cairns, with Samantha Fermo and Jo-Anne Hook
1990 Hamilton Island Resort commissioned a second series of paintings
1990 Solo exhibition Capricorn Galleries, Melbourne
1990 Group exhibition Park Road Gallery, Brisbane
1990 Commissioned for the Queensland Government’s year book, On Queensland
1990 Work acquired for the Joseph Brown collection, Melbourne
1991 Solo exhibition in Nagoya, Japan (reviewed in Nagoya newspaper Chunichi Shinbun)
1991 Produced print series Tropical Birds of Australia for the Japanese market
1992 Exhibited in Tokyo’s International Art Show, Japan
1992 Opened a branch of the Helen Wiltshire Gallery in Cairns
1992 Group exhibition, Takashimaya Osaka, Japan
1992 Solo exhibition, Tama Plaza, Tokyo, Japan
1992 Commissioned to paint a large triptych by the Cairns Port Authority for the Cairns International Airport Terminal arrival lounge area
1992 Commissioned by Quicksilver Cruises, Port Douglas for a print series
1993 Prints acquired by IBM for its Sydney offices
1993 Produced limited edition print series Fruit & Flowers
1993 Solo exhibition at Printemps Ginza, Tokyo, Japan
1993 Commissioned by Ayers Rock Resort Company for a limited edition print series on the theme of Ayers Rock (now Uluru) and central Australia
1993 Solo exhibition at Tama Plaza, Tokyo, Japan
1993 Print series acquired for the IBM Collection, Sydney
1993 Commissioned by Takashimaya Australia for the limited-edition print series Sydney Harbour
1993 Solo exhibition at Nikko Hotel, Sydney
1993 Commissioned by J.R. Kyushu, Japan, for canvas painting Fukuoka Fantasy
1994 Commissioned by Land-Rover, North America for a limited print edition of 100, Tropical Birds of Australia
1994 Produced the limited-edition print series Fantasea Reef
1994 Second solo exhibition at Printemps Ginza, Tokyo, Japan
1994 Solo exhibition Gallery Chaco Tokyo, Japan
1994 Participated in The Australian Fair, Akeno and Uita City, Japan
1994 Group exhibition Galleria Minami, Ginza, Tokyo, Japan
From the 1980s to 2010 the artist opened and ran commercial galleries in Bingil Bay, Cairns, Mission Beach village, Palm Cove, Port Douglas and on Hamilton Island. Further commissions included works for the Cairns Convention Centre; StanwelI Corporation and Conrad-Jupiters Casino, Gold Coast. From the 1990’s Helen’s work concentrated on private commissions and art sold through her galleries.
10th June 2011 – The artist died in Cairns at the Private Hospital surrounded by her family. Helen’s grave site is located at the Tully Lawn Cemetery and her plaque displays her symbol and signature. The symbol of Helen’s initials was a stamp used by Helen on her artwork otherwise being worn as a solid silver ring. The ring was made by local artist Liz Gallie.
The Helen Wiltshire Gallery continues to sell Helen’s artwork including original art and welcomes your enquiries.
Publications include: Germaine, Max. Artists and Galleries of Australia, Volumes 1 & 2, Third Edition. Craftsman Press, Sydney, 1990: Page 735; Germaine, Max. A Dictionary of Women Artists of Australia. Craftsman House, Sydney, 1991: Page 475.