Barbara Weir was born about 1945 at Bundy River Station, a cattle station in the Utopia region of the Northern Territory. Her parents were Minnie Pwerle, one of Utopia’s most well known and respected Aboriginal women artists, and Jack Weir, a married Irish man, their relationship was illegal, and the two were jailed. Jack Weir died not long after his release from jail.
Barbara Weir was partly raised by Pwerle’s sister-in-law Emily Kngwarreye in Utopia. She grew up in the area until about age nine, where as a victim of the stolen generation, Barbara was taken from her family as a young child and assimilated into white society.
It was not until the 1960‘s that Barbara returned to her homeland of Utopia and was taken under the wing of Emily Kame Kngwarreye, arguably the most famous and sought after female Aboriginal artist. The bond between mentor and student was so strong that Barbara referred to Emily as ‘Aunty Emily.‘
Undoubtedly it was this relationship that has influenced her painting style as much as her experience as a member of the Stolen Generation. The potent fusion of traditional Aboriginal spirituality and modern white culture characterises her work.
BARBARA‘S WORK HAS SEEN HER REACH WIDE ACCLAIM IN AUSTRALIA AND INTERNATIONALLY
Barbara became active in the local land rights movement of the 1970s and was elected the first woman president of the Indigenous Urapunta Council in 1985. She did not begin painting until 1989 at about age 45. She also has managed her mother, Aboriginal artist, Minnie Pwerle, (deceased) as her work became popular and in demand by collectors.
In 1994, she was one of a group of ten Utopia women who travelled to study batik in Indonesia. Her paintings are inspired by deep Aboriginal traditions
Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide
Art Gallery of Queensland, Brisbane
Queensland College of Art Griffith University
Ebes Collection-Workum, The Netherlands
University of Adelaide, Adelaide
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Hank Ebes Collection
Holmes a Court Collection
Macquarie Bank Collection
1995, 1997, 2003, Dacou Gallery, Adelaide
1995 Davis Avenue Gallery, Melbourne
1996, 2002, Framed Gallery, Darwin
1996 Gallery Woo Mang and Partners, Paris, France
1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, Flinders Lane Gallery, Melbourne
1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002, Quadrivium Gallery, Sydney
1996, 1997, 1998, Fireworks Gallery, Brisbane
1997, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide
1997 Hogarth Galleries, Sydney
1997 Sutton Gallery, Melbourne
1997 Barry Stern Gallery, Sydney
1998 ARTEXPO, New York, USA
1998, 2001, Chapman Gallery, Canberra
1998 Adelaide Festival Theatre, Adelaide
1998 Exhibited extensively in Europe including: Switzerland, Belgium, Germany, The Netherlands
1999, 2002, Japingka Gallery, Perth
1999, 2000, 2001, Tandanya, Adelaide
1999, 2000, 2002, Gallery Savah, Sydney
2000 ArtSauce, Singapore
2000 Redback Art Gallery, Brisbane
2000 AMP Building, Sydney
2001, “Women’s Business”, Chicago, USA
2001 Mbantua Gallery, Alice Springs
2002 Knut Grothe Galeri, Charlottlenlund, Copenhagen, Denmark
2003 Alison Kelly G llery, Melbourne
2003 Glen Eira City Council Gallery, Melbourne
2004 Group Exhibition, Kimberley Art, Noosa Heads, Qld
2006 Solo exhibition, “Recent Paintings”, Gallery Savah,,Sydney, NSW.
2006 ‘Utopia’, Flinders Lane Gallery, Melbourne, VIC.
2006 Group exhibition, APS Bendi Lango Art Exhibition, Rio Tinto Offices, Melbourne, VIC.
2007 Group exhibition, Robert Steele Gallery, NY, USA.
2007 “Standing on Ceremony”, Tandanya Cultural Institute, Adelaide, SA.
2007 Utopia exhibition, Robert Steele Gallery, NY, USA.
2007 Group exhibition, Australian Embassy, Washington, USA.
2007 “Best of the Best”, group exhibition, Gallery Framed, Darwin, NT.
2007 Solo exhibition, “Blowing in the Wind”, Artmob, Hobart, Tasmania
2007 “New Works from Utopia”, Space Gallery, Pittsburgh, PA, USA.
2008 “Utopia Revisited”, NG Art Gallery, Chippendale, NSW.
2008 Group exhibition, “Utopia Discoveries”, Flinders Lane Gallery, Melbourne, VIC.
2008 Group travelling exhibition to capital cities of Australia,“EWB Elements”, Dacou Art in conjunction with Dreamtime Art.
2008 “Blue: A Group Exhibition”, Fireworks Gallery, Brisbane, QLD.
2008 “Walking Together to Aid Aboriginal Health”, Shalom Gamarada Aboriginal Art Exhibition, University of NSW
2008 Solo Exhibition, Gecko Gallery, Broome, WA.
2009 “Utopia, Color’s of the Desert”, Gongpyeong Art Space in conjunction with Dacou, Australian Embassy in Korea & Crossbay Gallery, Seoul, Korea.
2009 Solo exhibition, Janet Holmes Á Court Gallery, Perth, WA.
2009 My Country’, solo exhibition, Dacou Gallery Melbourne, Middle Park, VIC.
2010 “ In the Footprints of Barbara Weir exhibition” Central Art, Alice Springs
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