Anita Mbitjana Ratara

Artist Anita Mbitjana Ratara
Title Sing-song at Palm Valley
Year 2022

Terracotta and underglazes

Dimensions 28 × 15 × 15 cm
Art Centre Hermannsburg Potters →

Out of stock

Anita Mbitjana Ratara

Anita Mbitjana Ratara is a senior artist at Hermannsburg Potters. Anita was ‘born bush’ in the alukura (women’s camp) near Hermannsburg. She is the mother of prominent potter Hayley Coulthard. Anita’s youngest daughter Alizha is an emerging artist. She attended the Hermannsburg Mission school, and later went on to work in the clinic. She also recalls making moccasins, or ‘fancy work’, for the missionaries. As a young woman, Anita taught herself to paint. She was taught pottery by Naomi Sharp in the early 1990s, when the pottery program was located at the outstations. Anita continues to reside mostly at her outstation, Ipalala. Anita mostly depicts Palm Valley in her work, of which she is a Traditional Owner. Palm Valley is Anita’s grandfather’s Country.

Artist statement

This is a story about sing song at Palm Valley. Noel Ratara, my brother is on the lid there. Noel, Daniel Ebatarinja my brother’s close friend and my cousin Trevor Pareroultja they singing sing song at Palm Valley by the campfire. They used to sing for tourist and mob and when I was a teenager I would go and watch. They would sing Country music like Slim Dusty, Johnny Cash and Hank William. Marilyn Armstrong, Verna Pareroultja my cousin and me are there too! We three we would sing and play guitar at Palm Valley, and sometimes out in the bush here in Ntaria, near the mulga trees on the west side. We would be going to Palm Valley in the bus and the boys would chase us with the horses – my boyfriend Kevin Coulthard would follow the bus and watch us dancing and singing, by the campfire.