Anita Ratara Mbitjana

Anita Ratara Mbitjana

Skin name:MbitjanaLanguage:Western ArrarntaDate of birth:1943-09-05

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Anita Ratara was ‘born bush’ in the alukura (women’s camp) near Hermannsburg in 1943. She is the mother of prominant potter Hayley Coulthard. Anitas youngest daughter Alizha is an emerging artist with her niece Stephanie Ratara, June Campbell and grandson Lawrence Inkamala.

She attended the Hermannsburg Mission school, and later went on to work in the clinic, teaching the young mother’s who had children. She also recalls making moccasins, or ‘fancy work’, for the missionaries.

As a young woman, Anita showed natural ability in the arts and crafts, teaching herself to paint from an early age. She recalls being taught pottery by Naomi Sharp in the early 1990s, when the pottery program was located at the outstations. Anita continues today residing mostly at her outstation, Ipalala, today, but travels into the Pottery most days to continue her love of working with clay.

Anita mostly depicts Palm Valley in her work, the home of the Wily Wagtail Dreaming, who turned into a stone in the desert. Palm Valley is Anita’s grandfather’s Country, and she continues to assert her links with her Country through her art. 


2017 Time and Tide, Alcaston Gallery, Victoria. Australia

2017 Desert Mob, Alice Springs, Northern Territory. Australia.

2017 Irna :Trees, Alcaston Gallery, Paddington, New South Wales. Australia

2018 ‘Lurpa- Seasons’ Bett Gallery, Hobart Tasmania, Australia

2018 Desert Mob, Araluen Alice Springs , Northern Territory, Australia

2018 Ramaramaka ‘Generation Big Pot Project Alcaston Gallery, Fitzroy, Melbourne, Australia

2019 Pmere Nuka- Our Country’ Turner Galleries, Perth, Western Australia

2019  Hermnannsburg Potters, Bett Gallery, Hobart Tasmania, Australia

2019 Australian Ceramics Triennale, Hobart Tasmania, Australia

2019 Desert Mob, Araluen, Alice Springs, Northern Territory, Australia 

2019 Looking Back Moving Forward’ Alcaston Gallery, Fitzroy, Australia


National Portrait Gallery

National Gallery of Victoria


2017 Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair, Darwin, Northern Territory

2017 Tarnanthi Festival and Art Fair, Adelaide, Australia

2018 Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair, Darwin, Northern Territory

2018 Tarnanthi Aboriginal Art Fair, Adelaide, South Australia

2019 Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair, Darin, Northern Territory

2019 Tarnanthi Aboriginal Art Fair, Adelaide, South Australia