Barbara Weir Biography
Barbara Weir was born in 1945 on Bundy Station, north-east of Alice Springs. Her father was an Irish-American who owned Bundy Station and her mother was the famous artist, the late Minnie Pwerle. She had many artistic influences growing up. Her mother was an artist as was her acclaimed aunt, the artist Emily Kame Kngwarreye.
Barbara is part of the stolen generation and in 1954, at the age of nine, she was removed from her family by Native Welfare. For the duration of her young life she was fostered in various families in Alice Springs, Victoria and Darwin. At the time of her removal from Bundy Station, she was under the custodianship of her aunty.
It wasn’t until the late 1960’s that Barbara was able to return to Utopia to be united with her mother and aunt. It was an emotion reunion. Then in 1977, as a single mother with six children, she returned permanently to Utopia to live. Inspired by the artwork of her famous aunt and the artists surrounding her in Utopia, Barbara began to paint.
As her name grew nationally, it wasn’t until 1996 that she broke out internationally. A European collector asked her to conduct workshops in Paris and Switzerland. The response to her work in art circles was overwhelming and everything sold. Her first solo exhibition was held in 1999 and was also completely sold out.
Since then she has travelled widely throughout Australia and around the world, often at the invitation of public galleries and embassies. Her presence is sought at the most important indigenous art events in Australia, and she has travelled to the United States and Japan.