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Bessie Pitjara


Anwekety (Bush Plum)  |  100h x 50w  |  RK823

Not framed or stretched  |  Acrylic on canvas

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 artwork is affordable using larger sized canvases to captivate her audience. Her mother is the renowned Utopian artist, Polly Ngale. Her Aunt’s, Kathleen Ngale and Angelina Pwerle, are also well known Utopian artists.

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.

Bessie's style is very similar to that of her mother and aunties, having been taught the Bush Plum story from them.  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 depicts the Bush Plum and the effect of its growth patterns on her country. She illustrates the topography in shades of reds, oranges and yellows and pinks, purples and plums reflecting the varying seasonal palette. She builds up layer upon layer of colour creating a multi-dimensional effect to reveal the Bush Plum – and her country – Alparra in all its glory. The Bush Plum is a significant Dreaming for the women of Utopia. The Aboriginal women pay homage to the spirit of Bush Plum in their Awelye ceremonies to ensure perpetual germination.

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

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