Lily Karadada (also spelt Karedada) was born in the Prince Regent River area on the Mitchell Plateau, on the north west area of the Kimberley coast of Western Australia. Her parents were Wunumbal language group, and Lily’s birthplace was Wumbango Wangurr in her Father’s country, where images of the Wandjina and Bradshaw figures are found at significant sites and rock shelters. Lily was born in the bush next to a spring, and so her father named her Mindindel, which means ‘bubbles’ .
At the time of the second World War, the young Lily and husband Jack, had made the long walk to the mission settlement at Kalumburu, which was coming under bombing attack by the Japanese. So they lived in a cave for many months on the outskirts, before finally settling back into the mission community.
Lily Karadada specializes in painting the Wandjina spirit with various totems including rain storm (dotting depicting rain generated by the Wandjina), lightning, turtle, owl nightjar and cave springwater. A dotted ground is also characteristic of Lily’s depictions of totemic species and the natural features of her country. Lily Karadada has lived all her life at Kalumburu with her large extended family, who are amongst the most consistent and longest practising Aboriginal artists from this region.
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