Lily Kelly Napangardi
Lily Kelly Napangardi (1948) is an acclaimed Aboriginal artist from the remote Haasts Bluff community “Ikuntji” in the Northern Territory (227km west of Alice Springs).
Lily lived with her family at the settlement of Papunya, where she was influenced to start painting during the emerging Desert Art movement in the 1970’s. She was also encouraged by her husband Norman Kelly, also a successful artist. Lily is a respected senior law woman of her community of “Watiyawanu”, and the custodian over the Dreamtime stories associated with country.
Since the 1980’s, Lily’s talent has been recognised by many art prizes. She won the Northern Territory Art Award for Excellence in Aboriginal Painting in 1986 and was a finalist in the Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award (NATSIAA) in 2003. She was named as one of Australia’s 50 most collectable artists by Australian Art Collector magazine.
The subject of Lily’s paintings is the sand hills (Tali) in and around her land. They are usually executed in white dots on a black background. Lily’s innate sense of composition creates the illusion of movement of sand falling across the sand dunes.
Today Lily Kelly Napangardi’s art is recognised as some of the most innovative in the contemporary Aboriginal art scene. It is highly sought-after by museums and private collectors worldwide.