Wandjina by Lily Karadada


Wandjina by Lily Karadada


Lily Karadada c. 1920

94 x 51cm

Earth pigments on bark

©Lily Karadada/Licensed by Copyright Agency 2018

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Lily was born in the Prince Regent River area of Western Australia known as Woomban-goo-wan-gorr, her father’s Country. Both parents were from the Woonambal tribe and living a traditional lifestyle. Lily was given the name of Mindindil meaning ‘bubbles’ after her father looked down into the spring water from the top of the hill and saw the spring bubbling a few hours after Lily was born. As a newborn she was carried around in a bark coolamon called namarrga, which Lily also produces and paints.

Lily is widely recognised and respected as one of the most outstanding painters of mythical Wandjina figures, central to and of the utmost importance within the culture of the Kimberley region in Western Australia.

To quote Worrora woman Leah Umbagai, "The Wandjina is a supreme being that created the country, gave us the laws of the land, and we have to obey and follow it. The Wandjina is not just a big picture on the wall, it's the trees, it's the rocks, it's the water, it's the seasons, it's everything … it lets us Wandjina people know who we are, and how to live our life." They were considered sacred by three tribes in the area.

Rock art representation of Wandjina can be found through the Kimberley, dating back some 4,000 years.


National Gallery of Australia, Canberra

National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne

Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane

Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth

Artbank, Sydney

Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide

Flinders University Art Museum, Adelaide

The Kelton Foundation, Santa Monica, U.S.A

Aboriginal Art Museum, The Netherlands

Berndt Museum of Anthropology, University of Western Australia.

Christensen Collection, held Museum of Victoria, Melbourne.

Museum de Lyon, France.

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