Utopia has produced some of the most recognisable names in Aboriginal art and is notable for its strong tradition of discovering female artists. This continues today with a new generation of talented painters who are inspired by greats such as Emily Kame Kngwarreye, Gloria Petyarre, Kathleen Petyarre and Ada Bird who worked at Utopia.
The legacy of these pioneering woman is a diversity of style and approach that welcomes hundreds of other artists from the Utopia clan groups.
It is a region of approximately 5,000 sq km north-east of Alice Springs and is home to around 2,000 aboriginal people. The region largely lies on aboriginal owned land called Urapuntja, it is made up of several larger communities and some very small ones!
Art is by far the largest source of employment in an area which lacks employment opportunities and skills. There are well over 250 professional artists in the region, most of them have never attended an art class!
The creative movement in Utopia began with batik and the work they produced came to international attention and was exhibited around the world. When painting reached the communities in the late 1980’s, acrylic paint on canvas with its quick drying and no mess properties, soon overtook batik.
This is a multi-generational art movement that has led Utopia's artists to become leaders in female aboriginal art.