Until he was 22, David Weir lived and worked in the city of Melbourne, following a conventional city life. Then a trip to Kakadu National Park, a World Heritage listed area covering 19,804 square kilometres in the Northern Territories of Australia, changed everything.
Instantly struck by the dramatic landscape, unchanged and constantly inhabited by the Aboriginal people for more than 60,000 years, Weir left his city life and moved to live and work in Kakadu.
For the next seven years, Weir studied Aboriginal rock art, the culture and sacred stories behind it. He began to draw, and through exploring the very different path his life was taking, it became his key form of expression. “Living within Kakadu - its people, the environment, the food, the stories, the rock art, the culture – it changes you. Wakes you up. Every moment you breath, the Dreamtime is within you. It pulls you closer to the land, the spirit.”
Central to his learning was his mentor, the late Bill Niedjie, Senior Traditional Elder for Kakadu’s Gagudju people, spokesperson, author and poet, with whom David formed a close bond. “I spent a lot of time with Bill, talking and asking questions. Bill’s biggest gift was to teach me to understand and to feel the land.”
For a young, white city boy to form such a close relationship with an Aboriginal Elder is highly unusual; for him to be given access to sacred sites, knowledge of ancient ways and stories, unheard of. The experience has had a profound effect on David’s life, which he has committed to the pursuit of his art.
David has had solo shows in both Melbourne and in Auckland, New Zealand, where he lived for 8 years. Weir exhibited at OrexArt gallery and completed a commission of more than 350 original drawings and paintings for the Crown Plaza in Auckland.
Now living back in Australia, David works from his large home studio in Patterson Lakes. Working mainly with ink and acrylics on rag paper or linen, Weir’s work is still grounded in his study of rock art and the teachings of Bill Niedjie. With influences from contemporary painters such as Pierre Soulages, Franz Kline, Ian Fairweather, and the Spanish painter, Antonio Tàpies, his work is a continuing journey that expresses his relationship with the beauty and power of the land.
See Forman’s range of stunning David Weir works here!