Josie was born and grew up at Santa Teresa Mission, approximately 80kms South East of Alice Springs. Growing up Josie lived a traditional life of a hunter and gatherer of bush food and participating in established local ceremonies.
Upon her marriage to Robin Petyarre (brother to Gloria Petyarre) they moved to the region of Utopia. Josie began to paint in her teenage years and her grandmother (the late Emily Kame Kngwarreye) has been an influence through stories inherited from her.
There is a number of dreaming which Josie paints. Along with women ceremony, the Bush Plum Dreaming is another favourite and this is highlighted in her work by the complex dotting which can create the impression of the three dimensional likeness. Since the 1980’s Josie has become identified as a leading Utopian artist.