Colleen Wallace Nungarrayi was born in 1974 and is a self taught artist who comes from a strong family tradition of Eastern Arrernte painters including Kathleen and Gabrielle Wallace.
Colleen’s father’s country is Annamurra near Harts Range, north east of Alice Springs and her mother’s country is Arrulka near Coniston, west of Alice Springs. Her Yam Dreaming links through to the country of Ada Bird Petyarre. Kenny Tilmouth Panangka, her grandfather, has given her the rights to paint Yam Dreaming.
Colleen began painting in 1990 under the tutelage of her aunties Gabriella and Kathleen Wallace. Her paintings relate to the Pencil Yam Story – Arlatyeye which belongs to Annamurra country. Colleen also paints awelye – women’s ceremony and Dreamtime Sisters who dance the stories surrounding the Pencil Yam Dreaming.
Her paintings are precise dot designs with a colour field varying from warm earth tones to vibrant complementary colours. The arc designs in Bush Yam paintings refer to the digging sites.
Colleen’s work incorporate ceremonial body design and more detail designs
associated to the Bush Yam, the vine and its flower which only grows in green times. Colleen lives with her husband and five children travelling between Alice Springs and her husband;s family at Mulga Bore Outstation in the Utopia region.