Artist Profile: Jennifer Kenny

Ngati Mutunga o Wharekauri, Te Roroa


Jen Kenny was born in 1975 and raised in Whanganui. Jenny descends from Ngati Mutunga o Wharekauri and Te Roroa iwi.

Jens creativity developed from being part of a family regularly involved in arts and crafts, including Maori design. During her school years Jen enjoyed experimenting with different techniques with art assignments often featuring bold designs and colours. At 17 Jen realised her affiliation for art featuring Maori culture and design. She was inspired when she was shown Robyn Kahukiwa’s book ‘Wahine Toa’ containing paintings and drawings of Maori women. This was a turning point for her and she has since practiced in a range of styles and media. Jen has studied tertiary art part time and gained valuable learning from the tutors there.

Jen currently likes to reflect social aspects of her life in her art. Part of her 2016 – 2017 work is a series of paintings entitled “Food, Wine & Company”, exploring how our social interactions are often driven by these elements.