Barbara Weir was born circa 1940 at what was formerly known as Bundy Station in the Utopia region. Her country is Atnwengerrp and her language is Anmatyerre and Alyawarr.
Barbara’s dynamic ‘Grass Seed’ paintings are evocative of the shimmering fields of native grasses at Utopia and honour her Aboriginal elders’ traditional ways of living on the land. She creates mesmerising works of art depicting the tiny seeds through her fine mark making and stunning colour combinations. Learn more about Barbara Weir here.
This piece was painted in 2020 and is 182cm x 121cm in size.
This artwork is currently stretched.
This artwork is apart of the Tandanya 30th year anniversary exhibition in collaboration with Pwerle Gallery called ‘Atnwengerrp – Our Apmere, Our Place’. It will be provided with a certificate of authenticity by Pwerle Gallery which will also be stamp certified by Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute.
Many different grass varieties are found in the Utopia region. A reddish grass about fifteen centimetres high grows in the spinifex sand plains and sandhills. It is found throughout the year but is particularly abundant after rain, although it is not as plentiful since Europeans introduced cattle and rabbits to the land. Grass seeds were once an important food source for Aboriginal people. The women would gather the seeds, then crush and grind them into a thick paste to make bread. In years past, grass seeds were collected in a most unusual way. Because seeds ripened at different stages, many would fall to the ground and be covered by sand, lost from view.
Ingeniously the Aboriginal women would look for the nesting site of a particular ant species that they knew collected the seeds, eating a certain portion before discarding the rest in a pile outside the nest. Once the nest was found the women were able to collect the cast off seeds more easily. Grass seeds remain an important subject matter for Utopia painters such as Barbara Weir even though the practice of gathering them to make bread is not as common today due to the ready availability of commercial flour.
All the artwork provided is done on with highest quality linen canvas, acrylic paints, oils and brushes ensuring the longevity of each piece of work.