Bessie Pitjara and her Bush Plum Dreaming

Bessie Pitjara and her Bush Plum Dreaming

Like many of the women artists of the Utopia region, Bessie began her artistic career in batiks before turning her enormous talents to acrylic paint on canvas. She was taught her craft by her famous mother, Polly Ngala [Ngale], with whom she now shares the same dreaming – Bush Plum [Arnwekety].


The Bush Plum is a significant source of food for Bush Women, and they continue to collect the plums as soon as the fruit reaches maturity. The Bush Plum and its impact on her nation are shown in Bessie's paintings. She was given the Bush Plum story by her mother and aunts, and her mannerisms are remarkably similar to theirs.  She uses a broad variety of colors to depict the topography of her nation, adding layers of color to produce a three-dimensional effect that reveals the Bush Plum and her nation in all their splendor.

Bessie also paints the bush flowers with a strong and vibrant palette of beautifully dappled colours. She still lives at Utopia with her mother and her equally renowned aunties, Kathleen Ngala and Angeline Pwerle Ngala.

FInd her paintings here...

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