Lilly Kelly Napangardi
Lilly Kelly Napangardi (also cited as Lily Napangati and known as Karitari, Mawitji)
Lilly Kelly Napangati, daughter of Sandy Opal Tjapanangka, one of the original Papunya Tula shareholders, was born at Dashwood Creek in 1948. As a child Lilly’s family lived at Haasts Bluff before moving to the newly government settled Papunya around 1958. She married Norman Kelly Tjampitjinpa and assisted him and others with painting for Papunya Tula until they moved to Mt Liebig. In the mid 1980’s Lilly began painting, in her own right, with Papunya Tula Artists. Norman Kelly moved to Lajamanu and started a second family while Lilly brought up their three children in Mt Liebig. She became a Senior Law Woman and a custodian of the Women’s Dreaming stories of Kunatjarri, in Luritja and Warlpiri country from Conniston, Kintore, Haasts Bluff and Mt Liebig.
Since 2000 Lilly’s Kunatjarri Dreaming stories paintings have a spontaneous and free structure reflecting the energy of the wind and rain drenched sandhill country from an ariel perspective. Lilly’s work mainly highlights contrasts in using varying intensity of small and tiny white dotting on a black or other dark colour background, demonstrating the everchanging structure of the shimmering desert country.
Watching Lilly begin a painting it can seem she doesn’t have a plan but what quickly emerges is perfectly balanced shimmering movement across the linen which, appears to come from deep inside.
In 2003, Lilly Kelly Napangardi won the General Painting category at the 20th Telstra Aboriginal & Torres Strait Island Art Awards.
Art Gallery of New South Wales
Queensland Art Gallery
The Kelton Foundation, Santa Monica USA
Holmes à Court Collection
Thomas Vroom Collection, Amsterdam
Johnson, Vivien, Lives of the Papunya Tula Artists, Australia. IAD Press, 2008
Australian Art Collector Magazine ed. 35, p 106. 2006.