The Utopia region is located 240 kilometres
north east of Alice Springs. It is home
to around 2000 people, mainly Alyawarre
speakers, who live in twenty-five outstations.
Utopia Station was a small pastoral lease,
which was handed back to its traditional
owners in the late 1970s.
The Utopia artists, primarily women, combined
traditional designs with western craft
practices beginning with batik. The batik
project started in 1978 to help the women
find a source of income in preparation
for the land claim hearing. By being able
to demonstrate the economic viability of
the outstations through their artwork,
the women were justifying their legal and
moral right to their land.
The use of acrylic paint on canvas was
introduced to the artists in 1988 and today
the community has come to be associated
with some of Australia's most exciting
The artists of Utopia have mainly made
their own independent arrangements to sell
their work through a network of dealers