Colleen Wallace Nungarrayi

My country is called Arnumarra, that is my grandfather’s country... Colleen is well known for her Dreamtime Sisters, dancing Awelye (women's ceremony), protecting country...

Region: Eastern Desert

DOB: 1973

Place of Birth: Santa Teresa

Significant Country: Arnumarra

Language: Eastern Arrernte

Community: Santa Teresa, NT

Living in Utopia with her husband Colin Bird (who is the son of renowned artist Ada Petyarre) and children, Colleen Wallace is renown for her series of Dreamtime Sisters works, a style which are associated with the Keringke artists of Santa Teresa and made famous by her aunt Kathleen Wallace, who passed permission to paint this style to Colleen. 

Born in Santa Teresa, Colleen's country is called Arnumarra, which is her grandfather's country, who is Kenny Tilmouth Panangka and who gave her the rights to paint the Yam Dreaming. The Yam Dreaming story links through to the country of Ada Bird Petyarre from Mulga Bore, Utopia.

She also painted stories belonging to her father's country near Gem Tree, north east of Alice Springs. 

The painting series of Dreamtime Sisters are based on good spirits that the Eastern Arrernte call 'Irrernte-arenye'. These spirits who are said to be the first people on earth during the creation time, dance the Awelye (women's ceremony) as they look after and protect Arnumarra (country) and guard the sacred sites.


Mbantua Gallery Permanent Collection, Alice Springs, NT, Australia
Rodney Gooch Collection, Riddoch Art Gallery, Mount Gambier, South Australia


1996 Aboriginal Art Gallery, Melbourne, VIC, Australia
1996 Cooinda Gallery, Coffs Harbour, QLD, Australia
1999 Mbantua Gallery, Alice Springs, N.T. Australia.
2002 Mbantua Gallery USA exhibitions: Art and Soul Gallery, Nashville, TN; 'The Cove Gallery' Portland; Urban Wine Works, Portland; Mary's Woods, Portland
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,
2003 Oct - Contemporary Aboriginal Art Event, Umpqua Bank in conjunction with Mbantua Gallery, Portland, Oregon, USA 
2003  Oct - Art from the Dreamtime, Portland Art Museum, Portland, USA 
2004  May - ‘Awelye’, Mbantua Gallery, Alice Springs 
2004 Aug-Sep - Mbantua Gallery USA exhibition: Portland, Nashville, Knoxville, 
Hartford, Greenwich, New York and Philadelphia 
2005   May-June - ‘Small Wonders’ (A collection of 1’x1’ and 1’x1½’ paintings), Mbantua Gallery, Alice Springs, NT, Australia 
2004  Evolution of Utopia, Mbantua Gallery Cultural Museum, Alice Springs, NT, Australia 
2008   June - Dreamings – the Land, Outback Aboriginal Art, Caulfield, VIC, Australia

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