Bessie Pitjara

Bessie Pitjara Headshot
Born: 1970
Language: Alyawarre
Region: Utopia, NT.

Born in 1970, Bessie Pitjara is the daughter of noted Alyawarre artist, Polly Ngale. Bessie typically paints the same story as Polly, Bush Plum, and uses heavily layered paint to depict the bush plum in various stages of ripeness.  The bush plum is an important source of vitamin C so is valued for its nutritional value, however the women also conduct a lot of song and ceremony to do with the bush plum.  This style of work has often been compared to that of the 19th century Impressionists; reminiscent of the colour fields used and their immediate emotive quality.  Bessie also carves the local bean tree timber in sculptures such as spirit men, birds and people.  She decorates them with bright and lively colours.