Barbara Weir

Date of Birth:



Utopia Station, NT




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 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

Artbank, Sydney

Queensland College of Art Griffith University

Ebes Collection-Workum, The Netherlands

University of Adelaide, Adelaide

AMP Collection

National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne

Hank Ebes Collection

Holmes a Court Collection

Hitachi 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.

e, Adelaide.

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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