Born at Dashwwod Creek in 1948, Lilly is the daughter of Sandy Abbott (Sandy Opal Tjapanangka), one of the original Papunya Tula shareholders. She is the niece of Johnny Warangkula’s wife Gladys Napanangka. She came to Haasts Bluff with her father Sandy and mother Narputta (Narbuta) as a baby. The family moved to the newly established settlement of Papunya in about 1958 when Lilly was still a young girl. She married Norman Kelly Tjampitjinpa and remained in the Papunya settlement for many years before moving to Mount Liebig community (Amunturrngu) with her family. Lilly has three children and eleven grandchildren. She started painting for Papunya Tula Artists in the mid 1980s when the company's field officers visited Mt Liebig regularly. In 1986, judge Patrick Hockey awarded her the NT Art Award for her painting ‘Watiyawanu’. In the late 1990s, Lilly and her husband Norman sought other outlets for their work. She has always painted her country around Haasts Bluff and the Womens Dreaming story associated with Kunatjarri, but has recently begun to experiment with new ways of representing it: cerebral images of sandhills, wind and land after rain, which have dramatically heightened her profile in the contemporary art world. Following her successful first solo exhibition at the Span Galleries in Melbourne in November 2003, Lilly was under consideration for inclusion in the 2004 Biennale of Sydney. In addition to painting, Lilly also makes spinifex baskets, carved wooden animals and ininti seed necklaces, though her high profile with contemporary art audiences no longer requires these 'sidelines'. Lives of the Papunya Tula Artists Vivien Johnson 2008: 189-190 Collections: National Gallery of Queensland, Brisbane The Kerry Stokes Collection The National Gallery of Australia, Canberra Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne Holmes a Court Collection, Perth Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin Art Bank, Sydney The Kelton Foundation, Santa Monica, USA Thomas Vroom Collection, Amsterdam Exhibitions: 1999 Desert Mob Show, Alice Springs 2000 Graham Marshall Gallery, Adelaide 2001 Desert Mob Show, Alice Springs 2002 Desert Mob Show, Alice Springs 2002 Telstra Awards, Darwin 2003 Telstra Awards, Darwin 2003 Neil Murphy Indigenous Art Showing, Mary Place Gallery, Sydney 2003 Graham Marshall Gallery, Sydney 2003 Telstra Awards 2003 Neil Murphy Indigenous Art Span Galleries, Melbourne 2004 Mary Place Gallery, Sydney 2004 Graham Marshall Gallery, Adelaide Awards: 1986, Winner of the Northern Territory Art Award 2003, Finalist NATSIAA Kreczmanski, Janusz B & Birnberg, Margo (eds.): Aboriginal Artists: Dictionary of Biographies: Central Desert, Western Desert & Kimberley Region 2004 Footnote: Lilly Kelly is often cited as Lily, the writer is using the artist’s name as it appears on her passport.