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Bessie Pitjara

Bessie Pitjara was born in the 1960’s and is from Alhalkere country in the Utopia Region, approximately 3 hours from Alice Springs in Central Australia. Bessie comes from a family and region which has produced some of the most prolific Aboriginal artists. Her mother is the renowned Utopian artist, Polly Ngale and her Aunt’s are also well-known artists,  Kathleen Ngale and Angelina Pwerle.

Like many Utopian artists, Bessie, was introduced to modern mediums in the 1970’s as a young child. She has always been around artists and has learnt her skills from her mother. She began experimenting with Batik silk painting in her early twenties as this had become a popular source of income during that time. Her dreamings come from both her parents, learning the Antwelarr and Kame Dreamtime from her father and the Anwekety Dreaming from her mother.

The Bush Plum is an important source of food for Bush Women and today they still gather the plums once the fruit ripens to maturity. Bessie’s paintings depict the Bush Plum and the effect of its growth patterns on her country. Her style is very similar to that of her mother and aunties, having been taught the Bush Plum story from them.  She illustrates the topography of her country in a wide, varying palette of colours and she builds up layer upon layer of colour creating a multi-dimensional effect to reveal the Bush Plum, and her country, in all its glory.

Bessie is an emerging artist who shares an important story of her country and culture.