Utopia – Capital of the Art World.

Our art is already famous - our art is in high demand in Alice Springs, nationally and internationally.

Utopia is one of the most renowned art regions in Australia, made famous in the 1990s by the stylistic innovations of the late Emily Kngwarreye, the late Minnie Pwerle, Gloria Petyarre, Barbara Weir, Kathleen, Polly and Angelina Ngarla (and many other artists) whose paintings now sell world-wide for tens of thousands of dollars.

It is hard to believe there is no Art Centre based at Arlparra or in this region.  An Art Centre did exist at Arlparra many years ago but has a bad track record.  Urapuntja Aboriginal Corporation will investigate this issue in the near future.  Many artists now deal direct with galleries in Alice Springs while other galleries visit the region on a regular basis.

The Aboriginal art movement began at Utopia around 1977 with the introduction of the Utopia Women’s batik activities – this was female dominated with a couple of men involved.  The women were initially taught tie-dying and batiking T-shirts before venturing into the silk medium.

The women held exhibitions of their batik work – Robert Holmes a Court acquired a collection of their batik work in 1988.

Around 1989 women started painting on canvas with acrylic, producing a range of vibrant and beautiful art styles.

The Urapuntja Aboriginal Corporation will look at ways of supporting artists in this region.  The overarching focus of the 2008 Plan was for the establishment of an Arts and Cultural Village located on Aboriginal land. 

There is a need to work closely with artists and to involve them in all discussions in regard to establishing an Art Centre in this region.