Lily Kelly Napangardi Paintings

Lily Kelly Napangardi - senior artist from Mt Liebig, paints finely dotted Tali desert sandhills, often using black & white


Tali – Sandhill Country by Lily Kelly Napangardi

Lily Kelly Napangardi   |  Tali – Sandhill Country

Jap 011550  |  acrylic on linen  |  91 x 76 cm


Tali – Sandhill Country by Lily Kelly Napangardi

Lily Kelly Napangardi  |  Tali – Sandhill Country

Jap 012252  |  acrylic on linen  |  112 x 102 cm

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Senior artist Lily Kelly Napangardi has developed an artistic vision of the vast sandhill country of her homelands around Mt Liebig and Haasts Bluff. Her paintings capture the extensive undulating country, and suggest the shifting nature of the desert sand dunes. Lily Kelly Napangardi creates her work using minimal colour, concentrating on the contrast she achieves using white dotting on a black background. The dots vary in size and intensity, creating a shimmer effect that denies any attempt at making a solid and changeless structure in a desert landscape.

Lily Kelly Napangardi was born in Haasts Bluff, grew up in Papunya and later moved to My Liebig where she has lived for thirty years. Lily Kelly Napangardi refers in her paintings to the Women’s Dreaming story from Kunajarrayi, and to the terrain around the Kintore and Coniston areas. Lily has established her place as a senior law woman in her community, teaching the younger women  in the traditional ceremonies associated with her Dreaming.

While Lily Kelly Napangardi presents the finest microcosmic details in her paintings, she embeds these into a macrocosmic aerial view of her country. The ephemeral nature of this drifting, changing landscape is Lilly Kelly Napangardi’s key subject, and the viewer, standing in front of her paintings, can sense something of the immersive experience of her country. In 2003, Lilly Kelly Napangardi won the General Painting category at the 20th Telstra Aboriginal & Torres Strait Island Art Awards.

Selected Exhibitions

  • 2000-2003 Desert Mob Show, Alice Springs
  • 2002/2003 Marshall Gallery, Adelaide
  • 2003 NATSIAA Telstra Awards
  • 2003 Span Galleries, Melbourne
  • 2004 Mary Place Gallery, Sydney
  • 2005 Desert Dreamings, Mary Place Gallery, Sydney
  • 2005 Japingka Gallery, Fremantle
  • 2006 Luminaries of the Desert, Japingka Gallery,Fremantle
  • 2006 Tony Bond Gallery
  • 2006 Knud Grothe Gallery, Denmark Copenhagen (Lily was Artist in Residence)
  • 2006 Colliding Worlds, Tandanya, Adelaide
  • 2007 Watiyawanu Artists of Amunturrngu, Japingka Gallery,  Fremantle
  • 2008 Watiyawanu Artists, Japingka Gallery, Fremantle
  • 2009 Watiyawanu Artists, Japingka Gallery, Fremantle
  • 2011 In Black and White, Japingka Gallery, Fremantle
  • 2014 Dot Code: Desert Artists, Japingka Gallery, Fremantle
  • 2014 Mini Masters: Small Works, Japingka Gallery, Fremantle
  • 2015   Sixteen Artists – 16 x 2, Japingka Gallery, Fremantle WA


    • The Kelton Foundation, Santa Monica USA
    • Holmes à Court Collection
    • Art Gallery of New South Wales
    • Queensland Art Gallery
    • Thomas Vroom Collection, Amsterdam
    • James Erskine Collection
    • Artbank, Sydney
    • Sherman Collection