Lily Kelly Napangardi

Born: circa 1948
Region: Tjiturulnga, Western Australia
Language group: Warlpiri, Luritja

Lily Kelly Napangardi was born at Haasts Bluff in 1948 and moved to the newly established settlement of Papunya in the 1960’s. During her time there, Lily began painting, assisting her husband Norman Kelly, who is an established artist. Lily returned to Mt Liebig with her husband in the early 1980’s when she began painting in her own right.

A senior law woman of the Watiyawanu community, near Haasts Bluff, north-west of Alice Springs, Lily is responsible for the Women’s Dreaming story associated with Kunajarrayi, and is now teaching younger women traditional dancing and singing.

Lily Kelly Napangardi won the Northern Territory Art Award for painting in 1986, and the General Painting Category at the 20th Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards in 2003.

In 2006 Lily Kelly Napangardi was named as one of Australia’ s 50 most collectable artists by the Australian Art Collector Magazine.

Lily’s paintings depict her country’s sand hills, its winds and the desert environment after rain. They are a bird’s eye depiction showing the movement of the sand across the sand hills, at her country near Kintore. The story was passed from her grandfather.