Born in 1962, Joy comes from the Atneltye region of Utopia that is more commonly known as Boundary Bore. Utopia is approximately 300km north-east of Alice Springs. Joy started painting in 1980 and her paintings typically depict Bush Medicine and Pencil Yam Roots. Her mother is renowned artist, Gloria Ngarla and her sister is the famous artist, Anna Petyarre. Joy is also a published translator of children’s books. Her paintings show an innate sense of colour and by carefully using the tip of the brush to place colour, Joy creates movement and pattern in her Pencil Yam Root paintings. Pencil yams are a cherished source of carbohydrate in the Utopia region but they also hold a significant spiritual meaning and many ceremonies are conducted by women about the yam.