Barbara Weir was born c. 1945 at Bundy River Station, Utopia. Her country is Atnwengerrrp and her language is Anmatyerre and Alyawarr.
Barbara is from an acclaimed family of artists. Barbara's mother was the acclaimed artist Minnie Pwerle and her father was Irish. Barbara was brought up by her aunty, Emily Kame Kngwarreye who went on to become the most celebrated painter of the Utopia Movement and one of Australia's best known desert artists. Barbar Weir's sister is the up and coming artist Betty Mbitjana and another aunty is Emily Pwerle.
At the age of 9 Barbara was taken into care by Native Welfare (children taken at this time are now known as the Stolen Generation). Barbara was subsequently fostered out to various families in Alice Springs, Victoria and Darwin. During these years she lost contact with her family and her culture.
As she grew up, Barbara vowed to return to her home and re-claim her heritage.
In the late 1960s she returned to Utopia station with her children. She re-learnt the languages and her culture and re-established contact with all her family.
Using the knowledge gained during her lost years, Barbara took up the fight to have Utopia Station returned to its traditional owners. Eventually, this dream was realised in the mid 1970s. It was one of the first examples of a successful outcome for indigenous people seking to exercise their traditional land rights.
Being exposed to many artists at Utopia, in particular Emily, Barbara in the early 1990s developed a profound interest in painting. Since this time she has progressed to be one of the country's leading indigenous artists. Though most identify her with her "Grass Seeds" story, she is a very imaginative artist who also explores subjects using traditional ochres and fine dot work.