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Shanna Napanangka Williams was born in 1988 in Alice Springs Hospital, the closest hospital to Yuendumu, a remote Aboriginal community located 290 km north-west of Alice Springs in the NT of Australia.
Shanna is the great granddaughter of Paddy Japaljarri Sims (Dec) and Bessie Nakamarra Sims (Dec), two of the founding artists of Warlukurlangu Artists Aboriginal Corporation, an Aboriginal owned and governed Art Centre located in Yuendumu. Shanna has been painting with Warlukurlangu Artists Aboriginal Corporation, since 2002, when she was 14 years of age.
She began painting during the school holidays when the art centre ran cultural maintenance programs for the school children. Shanna paints her father’s Jukurrpa stories, Dreamings which relate directly to her land, its features and the plants and animals that inhabit it. These stories were passed down to her by her father and her great grandfather. Shanna uses an unrestricted palette, building on traditions that stretch back at least fifty millennia, developing a modern interpretation of her traditional culture.
The Sims family is indicative of how community based the art centre is with 4 generations actively participating in art centre activities at the same time. Shanna attended the local Yuendumu School. She is now a full-time mum looking after her two children Ivan and Diona. When she is not painting or looking after her children she likes to go hunting. She particularly likes hunting for Honey ants.