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California, American and International Fine Art

Karedada, Lily (b c1935)

Wandjina (four figures)




Acrylic on linen

Item #



Lily Karadada (Karedada) was born circa 1935 of Woonambal parents in her father’s country, Woomban-go-wangoorr, near the Prince Regent River in the East Kimberley. Her bush name, Mindindil, means ‘bubbles’. This name referred to the time when her father saw bubbles emerging in the freshwater spring – alluding to his daughter’s spirit coming from the water.
As a baby, she was carried in a bark coolamon and grew up eating bush tucker such as kangaroo, yams, wild honey, fish and goannas. Her father passed way while she was quite young.
During World War II, Lily and her husband, Jack moved to Kalumburu, on the northwest tip of Western Australia, where she helped the nuns at the Mission to plant mango and coconut trees. Here she and Jack would paint, Lily becoming a prolific painter, especially of the Wandjina figures, whose paintings were found in the caves and rocks. This remote area of the Kimberley is referred to as ‘Wandjina Country’.
The enigmatic Wandjina figures are found in the surrounding caves and rock galleries, being maintained over generations. For the local tribes, the Wandjina ancestor spirits were central to their natural and spiritual world, with each clan group tracing their descendents from a distinct cave area.38 of her artworks reside in the National Gallery of Australia.
38 of her artworks reside in the National Gallery of Australia.
Provenance: 1998; Aboriginal Gallery of Dreamings, Melbourne 38; acquired in 1999; Richard Kelton Collection,
Santa Monica.

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