Barbara Weir

Barbara Weir

Alyawarr Language Group

"Grass Seed Dreaming”

90 x 60cms

Ref No: MB016062



The small brush strokes in warm colours overlap and weave to create a swaying effect like the movement of native grass. The seeds of this grass are ground and made into damper, which is an important staple food of traditional Aboriginal people.

Barbara Florence Weir was born in 1945 at what was formerly known as Bundy River Station in the region of Utopia, north-east of Alice Springs. She belongs to the country of Atnwengerrp (A-noong-er-pa) and is both an Anmatyerre and Alyawarr speaker.

Her mother is the highly recognised Utopia artist Minnie Pwerle and her father an Irish station owner Jack Weir.

Being from mixed heritage she was hidden from welfare patrol from the age of 2 and ‘grown up’ by her aunty, famed Aboriginal artist the late Emily Kame Kngwarreye. At the age of 9 she was taken away from her family by welfare while collecting water at Utopia Station, now known as Utopia Homestead. She is one of the children known as the ‘stolen generation’. Throughout the following years Barbara was moved to various children’s homes around Australia, eventually settling in Darwin. During these years she was told that her mother was dead and forced to speak only English.

In the late 1960’s Barbara and her 6 children returned to Utopia, where she was reunited with her aunt Emily Kngwarreye, who was later to be a major inspiration for Barbara’s interest in art.

In 1994 Barbara and other women from Utopia travelled to Indonesia to learn more about the art of batik. Barbara returned from Indonesia full of ideas for developing her own creative style. Barbara began exhibiting her work in 1995 and her skill as an artist soon attracted the attention of collectors both nationally and internationally.

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