Bessie Nakamarra Sims was born in the bush in the 1930s and lived for many years before coming into contact with white people at Mt. Doreen Station, west of Yuendumu.
Bessie lived in Yuendumu, a remote Aboriginal community located 290 kms north-west of Alice Springs in the Northern Territory. Bessie was the wife of Paddy Japaljarri Sims (deceased), a renowned artist both nationally and internationally, who painted with Warlukurlangu Artists Aboriginal Corporation, an Aboriginal owned and governed art centre located in Yuendumu.
Bessie was one of the most valued members of the Warlukurlangu Artists Community. She painted consistently with Warlukurlangu Artists since the centre was ﬁrst established in 1985 and exhibited both in Australia and internationally in group exhibitions.
Bessie painted her Jukurrpa stories, Dreamings which related directly to her ancestral homelands.
“I like painting because it's my Dreaming, from my father and grandfather's side. I like to teach kids my Dreaming. I want everyone to know my Dreaming from all over the world. I know and they can know"
Bessie had seven children and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Bessie passed away in Yuendumu in May 2012 surrounded by her extended family. Some of her last words were:
"Japaljarri (my husband) is calling me, he is waiting for me".