Born: Alice Springs, NT
Shanna Napanangka Williams was born in 1988 in Alice Springs Hospital in the Northern Territory, the nearest hospital to the Yuendumu Aboriginal community that is her home - 290 km northwest of the Alice. Shanna's great-grandparents, Bessie Nakamarra Sims and Paddy Japaljarri Sims (deceased), were also artists and were among those who founded an art centre based in Yuendumu, Warlukurlangu Artists Aboriginal Corporation.
Shanna has been painting with Warlukurlangu since 2002, when she was fourteen years old. She began during the school holidays when the art centre ran cultural maintenance programs for the school children. Her work focuses on Dreamings passed down through the generations, her father's Jukurrpa stories about her land and all its natural features, flora and fauna. Using an unrestricted palette, she is 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 four 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 with her grandmother, Bessie Sims. She particularly likes hunting for Honey Ants.