Barbara Weir – Grass Seed Dreaming

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Barbara Weir – Grass Seed Dreaming


Barbara Weir was born at Bundy River Station in 1940 in the Utopia region which occupies some 1,800 square kilometres. Her country is Atnwengerrrp and her language is Anmatyere and Alyawarre. Barbara Weir is one of Aboriginal Australia’s stolen generations. These were people who were forcibly taken from their parents as children and sent to other parts of the country to be raised in European families. In 1977 with 6 children Barabara Weir returned permanently as a single mother to Utopia. Barbara Weir says: “My people didn’t recognise me when I went back”.  She was initially treated with reservation by her mother Minnie Pwerle.

Barbara Weir’s career as an artist was inspired by the dynamic community of artists at Utopia and the work of her adopted auntie Emily Kame Kngwarreye.

Barbara Weir uses two distinctive stylistic conventions, one linear, the other an all over dotting technique. For her Grass Seed Dreamings, it is linear (this story refers to the grass seed that is part of the bush tucker found in the region. Seed is collected, crushed to a fine powder and then used to make bread). With these paintings, she combines both aerial and side-on view to describe dense fields of swaying grass in close focus. These are both diaphanous and mysterious in impact. Exquisite linear layers of finely painted filaments, they seem at once to be appearing and disappearing setting up pulsating rhythms which are further accentuated by soft plays of flowing colour that weaves gently into and over the canvas surface.


Grass Seed Dreaming


Barbara Weir


76 x 46 cm