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Introducing Lily Kelly Napangardi

Lily Kelly Napangardi Sandhills

Today I’d like to look at an artist named Lily Kelly Napangardi who comes from Mount Liebig in the Northern Territory.

Lily often paints sandhills but she paints them in a very different way to many other artists. In her paintings you sometimes get the impression of the wind blowing the tops off these sandhills through the line of dots she creates coming off the top of the sandhills. It’s almost a plain-air and aerial view in the same painting. 

Lily was one of the first of the famous artists from the Watiyawanu Art Centre at Mount Liebig. She had major sell-out shows in Sydney in the early 1990s and was one of the first artists from that community to make an international name for herself. She’s still painting today and still taking as much time and care with each dot that she places on the canvas.

People don’t realise how difficult it is to do these extremely fine dots because they tend to be done with just a thin stick. The thing with painting with these sticks is you can only use it maybe ten times before the stick’s useless because it’s got paint all over the end of it. You can no longer get the fineness so you have to start with another stick and that way you do another ten dots, and away you go. It is incredible. I personally wouldn’t have the patience to do it.

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