Nancy Napanangka Gibson was born a long time ago, at Lake MacKay, a vast saline lake that spans the border of WA and the NT and is located 500 km west-north-west of Alice Springs. Nancy was brought up the traditional Aboriginal way, going bush with family and learning all about country. Nancy’s family were the last people to come from bush to Yuendumu in the 1950s. Nancy is a widow and now lives in Nyirripi, originally an outstation of Yuendumu but now a small Aboriginal community, and located 132 km to the west of Lake Mackay site. She has five children, three sons and two daughters; she has grandchildren and great grandchildren – a big mob.
Nancy started painting in Alice Springs many years ago. She says she taught herself to paint. In 2006 she started painting with Warlukurlangu Artists Aboriginal Corporation, an Aboriginal owned and governed art centre located in Yuendumu, a remote Aboriginal community located 290 km from Alice Springs in the NT of Australia. The art centre make regular visits to Nyirripi to drop off canvas, paint and brushes for the artists and to collect finished artwork. She mainly paints Mina Mina Jurkurrpa, Dreamings related to her country west of Nyirripi and near Lake MacKay. Occasionally she paints Wurrpadi Jukurrpa (Spear-tree Dreaming) and Wakerlpirri Jukurrpa (Dogwood Tree Dreaming) Dreamings that also relate to her Mina Mina.
She loves to paint most days and still goes hunting for goanna on the weekends.