Barbara Weir was born in around 1945 at Bundey River Station, a cattle station in the Utopia region (called Urupunta in the local Aboriginal language) of the Northern Territory. She now lives in Alice Springs (300km from Utopia).
Barbara is a part of what is known as the “Stolen Generation”. As per Australian government policy at the time, Barbara was removed from her mother and Aboriginal community, at around 10 years old and re-located to foster families in Queensland.
It wasn’t until much later in life at the age of 45 that Barbara finally reconnected with her people in Utopia. It was during this time that Barbara began to re-learn her forgotten language and the sacred stories of her people. Barbara began to paint and follow in the footsteps of her famous artist mother, Minnie Pwerle and her grandmother, the celebrated Emily Kame Kngwarreye.
Barbara’s paintings feature abstract representations of plants and Dreaming inspired by sacred Aboriginal traditions and ceremonies. The secret knowledge of which is passed on from generation to generation. Weir’s paintings of “My Mother’s Country” include secret “Women’s Business” which is hidden within the layered dotting technique Barbara uses. Weir’s other subject is “Grass Seeds”.
Barbara Weir is now at the forefront of the contemporary Indigenous art movement in Australia, started in the 1970’s. Her work is highly sought after and collectable, featured in many collections and galleries around the world.