Kenny Williams Tjampitjinpa

Kenny Williams Tjampitjinpa
1950 ()

Country: Kiwirrkura
Nationality: Australian
Language group: Pintupi


Kenny Williams Tjampitjinpa was born around 1950 in Iliya, not far from Kiwirkurra. Western Australia. Kenny is the eldest son of Naata Nungurrayi and her first husband Pilamartitja Tjangala (circa 1917-1961), who died of thirst in the desert two years before their group’s first encounter with white men. In 1963 he and his family came across Jeremy Long's Welfare Branch Patrol. In 1964, Sandy Nim Nim, as Kenny was nicknamed, and his family were brought to Papunya. In May 1988 Kenny began painting his Dreamings for Papunya Tula Artists, aided by Ronnie Tjampitjinpa. Kenny’s principal ‘homestead’ site is Walawala near Kiwirrkurra. Kenny's main Dreamings tell stories about the (Kuniya) python and Ngamanpura, a swamp west of Kintore where a black berry with the same name can be found. For a few years, Kenny was the chairman of Papunya Tula Artists and in 2000 he won the prestigious Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award. Kenny Williams is a perfectionist: he works slowly and with painstaking care. His paintings can be distinguished by a fine play of careful zig-zag-patterns, executed in subtle earth tones. The whole composition often has a hypnotic effect. Like the old masters from Papunya, Kenny treats his brushes and paint with great pride and reverence.


2015 Signs and Traces. Contemporary Aboriginal Art. Cultural institute Zamek. Poznan, Poland
2000 Papunya Tula: Genesis and Genius, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
2001 ‘Aborigena’, Palazzo Bricherasio Turin, Italy


Art Gallery of New South Wales
Sydney Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin
Artbank, Sydney 
Private collections

Artist's locations

view work by Kenny Williams Tjampitjinpa

Kutjarra Kuniya (Python) Dreaming #413

Untitled #1178

Untitled #451

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