Artist: Joy Kngwarreye Jones
Skin Name: Kngwarreye
Language Group: Alyawarre                                  
Region: Utopia, Northern Territory

Born in 1961 on MacDonald Downs Station, northeast of Alice Springs in the Northern Territory, Joy now lives on an outstation at the northern end of Utopia. Joy is the youngest painter in a prominent family of artists, including her adopted sister, the celebrated Emily Kame Kngwarreye; her eldest sister, Lily Sandover Kngwarreye (deceased), and her brother, Freddy Kngwarreye Jones.

Joy, like her elder sister Lily is the daughter of Jacob Jones, a senior lawman of the Alyawarre tribe on Utopia. Alyawarre country stretches from Utopia to Lake Nash on the Queensland border which is a landmass of thousands of square kilometers and larger than many European countries.

Like her sister before her, Joy paints with a stick and a gutta nib applying paint in delicately bold and confident strokes. Although she participated in the early Utopian art movement, Joy didn't become immersed in her art again until 2006.  Her paintings of Awelye are highly sought after as she executes it with wonderful passion, creativity and precision.  Her rhythmic, almost lyrical patterns are immediately immersive.

Her work is characterised by intricate pattern, meticulous execution and typically in a two colour palette.  She weaves rhythmic, almost lyrical strokes which are immediately engaging, immersive and magical.


Aboriginal Art Museum, The Netherlands
Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane
The Holmes a Court Collection, Perth


Brody, A., 1989, Utopia Women's Paintings: the First Works on Canvas, A Summer Project, 1988-89, exhibition catalogue, Heytesbury Holdings, Perth. ©

Brody, A., 1990, Utopia: a Picture Story, 88 Silk Batiks from the Robert Holmes a Court Collection, Heytesbury Holdings Ltd, Perth. ©


2017  Sacred Marks, JGM Gallery, London, U.K.
2017  Utopia: the artists of Delmore Downs, Yaama Ganu Gallery, Moree
2012  Exploring Oceania, Milan, Italy
2011  Without Pier Gallery Cheltenham, Melbourne
2011  Ninbella PN/P Exhibition, Florence, Italy
2010  Divas on the Cusp – Generation Next of the Central Desert, Jive Art, Noosa         Heads.  Co-curated by Susan McCulloch
2008  From the Desert to the Sea, Yurlunggar Art, Brisbane
2008  Power of Place, Paintings and Sculpture from the Eastern Desert, Tandanya Aboriginal Cultural Institute
2007  Eastern Desert Song, Brush with Art Festival, Prairie Hotel, Parachilna
2007  Eastern Desert Dreaming, Artists from Utopia, GalleryG, Brisbane
2007  Patterns of Power, Art from the Eastern Desert, Simmer on the Bay, Sydney
2006  Senior Women of Utopia, GalleryG, Brisbane
1995  Christine Abrahams Gallery, Melbourne
1992  Modern Art, Ancient Icon, The World Bank, Washington, USA
1990  Utopia, A Picture Story. Holmes à Court Collection, toured Ireland, Scotland
1989  Utopia Women’s Paintings, the First Works on Canvas, A Summer Project 1988-89, S.H. Ervin Gallery,


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