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  • Writer's pictureBeverley Skurulis

Wandjina by Lily Karadada

Updated: Feb 29

No.55.   in my series of short stories.


Wandjina painting by Lily Karadada 
Wandjina by Lily Karadada 

OK, so this painting is not done by me but by a wonderful

lady I met in Kalumburu.


Lily Karadada's Wandjina paintings have international acclaim. Her work being exhibited in lots of prominent collections. Lily is a well known artist in and around the Kimberley and Pilbara regions.


The attached painting of the Wandjina, "the rain maker spirit" by Lily Karadada from the Kalumburu Community. This painting is one of the few that we acquired.

I stayed for a while with my daughter who at the time was working at the Kalumburu community and it was a very interesting time to say the least. My husband had passed away not long before and I needed something else to focus on. I arrived from Kununurra by light plane in the stinking hot weather, though at the time when I lived in that climate it didn't worry me to any great extent. After flying into the community and spending time observing the lifestyle, the people, and the scenery for later paintings, and lots of photos so I can remember what we got up to.


It is a very different lifestyle, not really somewhere I would like to spend a lot of time. We were billeted to a lock up compound, it was both challenging and inspiring and of course extremely interesting.  Despite its difficulties, this lifestyle seemed to have had a profound impact on my artistic expression. I turned those experiences into a series of 53 paintings and they later were put into postcards which was a creative response to the challenges I faced. I only ever left the compound if I was with someone else as I had tried it once on my own and been attacked by dogs and had the ass ripped out of my Levis jeans.


Art often serves as a powerful outlet for personal experiences and emotions. The fact that I was able to channel my time in Kalumburu into a creative endeavour demonstrates that living in the North West had made me rather resilient and resourceful.


And still around to tell the tales.

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Look forward to a book from you one day!🙂

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