Barbara was born in 1945 at Bundy River Station, a cattle station in the Utopia region of Central Australia and is the daughter of famous Utopian artist Minnie Pwerle. Barbara was part of what the Australian public now refers to as the “Stolen Generations” being taken at the age of nine.
In 1968 Barbara returned to Alice Springs and the Utopia region to be reunited with her mother and family. During this period Barbara also reconnected with her famous aunt, Emily Kngwarreye who played a major role in helping raise Barbara prior to being taken.
In 1989 after spending long periods of time observing her famous aunt, Barbara began her painting career and in 1994 was part of a group of ten Utopian women to travel to Indonesia to learn about Batik(silk painting) Not long after returning from Indonesia Barbara’s individual works began to attract attention from collectors worldwide. Her highly renowned paintings titled “Grass Seeds” are now considered contemporary and unique.
She is a highly gifted and professional artist who uses a range of distinct techniques to portray her family connections, life experiences, and Dreaming stories. Barbara continues to lead the way in developing new and exciting methods of creating stories through art.