Painter to Erromango - Vanuatu
Juliette Pita is currently the most well-known artist in Vanuatu. She was born in 1964 on Erromango Island and is the third of eight children. She is a widow with three children and her adopted niece.
Her talent was discovered early on. At school she was always the best in art classes. As a child she went to boarding school in Tanna because there was no school on Erromango. Later on, she moved to Efaté to attend Lycee. Her parents could not afford to pay tuition so a family friend offered to pay her fees and take her in. She was the first woman to graduate from the Institut National de Technologie du Vanuatu (INTV). Juliette never imagined making money from her art but she believed God had plans for her. She gives all the money she earns to anyone who needs help.
With the independence of Vanuatu in 1980, she felt that she had to show with her work that she and the people of Vanuatu were mature enough to be independent. In 1994, she had her first exhibition in Paris, and then later she had exhibitions in Sydney, New Caledonia, and across Europe.
Her motifs are taken from the traditional culture of Vanuatu, but also from her current life. She works part-time as a fabric painter for sarongs that tourists can buy in the city center. She also sells her paintings to tourists in Port Vila who come on cruise ships. Her children and nieces and nephews are also artists and sell paintings to pay their school fees.
She paints on tapas, a vegetable fibre made from the bark of a tree, but also on canvas