AREA:.......................................................Boundary River Station region of Utopia

LANGUAGE GROUP:...........................Anmatyerre and Alyawarr

COUNTRY:..............................................Antwengerrp

AGE:......................................…...............

Barbara's mother was Minnie Pwerle, another Aboriginal artist and her father was Irish. She was 'hidden' from the age of two at Utopia where she was 'grown up' by her aunty Emily Kngwarreye. At the age of 9 years, whilst collecting water, Barbara was taken by Native Welfare and her family believed she had been killed. She was fostered out to various families, first in Alice Springs, then in Victoria, and Darwin. During these years she lost contact with her family but never forgot and was determined to return and re-claim her heritage.

In late 1960's she returned to Utopia with her 6 children. She re-learnt the languages and her culture and re-established contact with all her family including the late Emily Kame Kngwarreye and her Grandfather Quartpot Akemarr. Being exposed to many artists at Utopia, in particular Emily, Barbara, in the early 1990's developed a profound interest in painting.

In 1994, Barbara, along with a small group of artists from Utopia, travelled to Indonesia to learn more about the art of batik. The Utopia women were well known for their beautiful batiks as this contributed to the Aboriginal community buying back the region of Utopia in 1979. Barbara returned full of ideas for developing her own creative painting style. She began to work with her son, Fredd Torres(now the owner and director of Dacou Aboriginal Art Gallery). In 1996, Barbara travelled to Paris and Switzerland at the request of a European art gallery owner who commissioned some of Barbara's work. Private collectors quickly purchased every paintign and this proved to be the turning point in Barbara's artistic career.

After Emili's passing in 1996, Barbara concentrated on developing skills as an artist and soon attracted the attention of collectors producing works that were very contemporary in style.. It was not long before her paintings were drawing rave reviews. Mr Hank Ebes, Aboriginal Gallery of Dreamings, Melbourne, did just that in Antique and Art in Victoria in the April to August 1997 edition. Some of these paintings that propelled her into the main stream of the art world include 'Bush Berry', 'Grass Seeds', 'Wild Flower' and 'My Mother's Country'. These she paints with an explosive mixture of ancient Aboriginal spirituality and modern white culture. DACOU Gallery regards Barbara as a very important link between white man's culture and Aboriginal culture and her beautiful art work is a great asset to the Gallery.

Included in many backgrounds are abandoned bush camps, forms of women's bodies, creeks, waterholes and other important objects and sites. Exhibitions include Fireworks Gallery Brisbane, Flinders Street Gallery, Switzerland (Lucerne). Collections include Art Gallery of South Australia and other galleries throughout Australia. In 1996 she travelled to France and Switzerland to paint solely for private collectors. All works were commissioned and immediately sold. Barbara was also painting in St Louis in the USA and without doubt rapidly becoming one of Australia's most talented and sought after artists.

Barbara resides in Adelaide and artistically continually seeking new ways to illustrate her Aboriginal heritage. This constant search for something 'different' means that Barbara is continually experimenting with colour and patterns and makes her one of the most exciting Aboriginal artist to merge into the world of mainstream art.