Born in 1945, Barbara Weir is a prominent Anmatyarre artist who has been at the forefront of contemporary Australian painting for some years. Her mother is was well known artist Minnie Pwerle and her father was Irish. In the 1940’s children of mixed race parents were taken away and their parents charged so Barbara became part of the “stolen generation,” only returning to Utopia to find her Mother in the late 1960’s. She gradually became re acquainted with her culture and learnt to speak her mothers language.Her Aunt, Emily Pwerle was instrumental in her beginning to paint and there were many great role models such as Emily Kame Kngwarreye, Gloria and Kathleen Petyarre among others who were painting in the region. In Utopia a project in the late 1970’s introduced the residents to art making in batik. The works on Batik were taken on a travelling exhibition to Europe and North America in the early 1980’s. When the artists in the area saw the ease and colour range made available with acrylic paints in the other communities the women began to paint their unique bush medicine and body paint designs in the new medium.
Barbara Weir paints Bush Yam and Grass Seed Dreaming, stories associated with the area. Her rendition of the grasses evokes a feeling of movement as the wind blows through the grass.
Art Gallery of South Australia Art Gallery of Queensland
Macquarie Bank Collection National Gallery of Victoria
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