Nancy was the second eldest of the 'seven famous Petyarre sisters' from the Utopia region. She shared the story of Arnkerrthe, the Mountain Devil Lizard, with her sisters and each had their own, unique way of painting it. Nancy was most well known as an artist for her fine dot designs representing the skin on the back of this gentle creature.
Nancy was not a prolific artist, and earned immense respect in the industry from her passion and dedication for painting which also reflected her personality. In the latter years of her life, Nancy painted very few paintings and turned to some linear work for more ease.
Initially, Nancy was part of the original group of women to participate in batik workshops and her work in this is represented in the Robert Holmes a Court collection. Her artwork is also in collection at the National Gallery of Australia.
Nancy passed away peacefully at Utopia in August 2009 after suffering a stroke in Alice Springs. She requested to be buried next to Emily Kame Kngwarreye in a little known spot along the Sandover Highway.
National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
Mbantua Gallery Permanent Collection, Alice Springs
Edith Cowan University - University Art Collection, Perth
1989 Aboriginal Art, The Continuing Tradition, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
1989 Utopia Women’s Paintings, the First Works On Canvas, A Summer Project, 1988-89, S. H. Ervin Gallery, Sydney
1990 Utopia, A Picture Story, an exhibition of 88 works on silk from the
Holmes a Court Collection by Utopia artists which toured Eire and Scotland
1992 Central Australian Aboriginal Art and Craft Exhibition, Araluen Centre, Alice Springs
1993 Central Australian Aboriginal Art and Craft Exhibition, Araluen Centre, Alice Springs
1994 Central Australian Aboriginal Arts and Craft Exhibition, Araluen Centre, Alice Springs
1994 Yapakurlangu Wirrkardu, Bachelor College, Tennant Creek, NT
1999 “Caring for Country – Artists of Utopia”, Tandanya, S.A
2001 "Mountain Devil Lizard – Arnkerrthe", Myrtle Petyarre, Nancy Petyarre and Violet Petyarre, July Exhibition: Mbantua Gallery, Alice Springs
2001 Seven Sisters Petyarre: Brisbane City Gallery, Brisbane
2002 Redback Art Utopia Women
2002 Mbantua Gallery USA exhibitions: Art and Soul Gallery, Nashville, TN; 'The Cove Gallery' Portland, OR; Urban Wine Works, Portland, OR;
Mary's Woods, Portland, OR
2003 Seven Sisters, Chrissie Cotter Gallery, Sydney
2003 Mbantua Gallery USA exhibitions: New City Merchants, Knoxville, TN; Art and Soul Gallery, Nashville, TN; 'The Cove Gallery' Portland, OR; Mary's Woods, Portland, OR
2003 Contemporary Aboriginal Art Event, Umpqua Bank in conjunction with Mbantua Gallery, Portland, Oregon USA
2003 Art from the Dreamtime, Portland Art Museum, Portland OR USA
2004 Mbantua Gallery USA exhibition; Portland, Nashville, Knoxville and
2005 ‘Small Wonders’ (A collection of 1’x1’ and 1’x1½’ paintings), Mbantua Gallery, Alice Springs, N.T
2004-2006 Evolution of Utopia, Mbantua Gallery Cultural Museum, Alice Springs