Lily Kelly Napangardi is an acclaimed Aboriginal artist from the remote Haasts Bluff community “Ikuntji” in the Northern Territory (227km west of Alice Springs).
In her early years, she 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.
The subject of Lily’s paintings are 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.
Lily began painting in the early 1980s. 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. In January 2006, she was named as one of Australia's 50 most collectable artists by Australian Art Collector magazine.
Lily's art is recognised as some of the most innovative on the contemporary Aboriginal art scene. It is highly sought-after by museums and private collectors worldwide.