Aboriginal Art

Central Desert

Utopia is the main community in the central desert represented by Gannon House Gallery.

Artists such as Gloria Petyarre, Kathleen Petyarre, Minnie Pwerle and Lindsay Bird all come from Utopia.

Utopia is a region approximately 250 kilometres north east of Alice Springs in the Northern Territory. Its name comes from the former Utopia cattle station. During the 1980s a distinctive regional style of art emerged, first by women working in batik on fabric, and then by artists using acrylic paint on canvas. Utopia is famous for such distinguished artists as Emily Kame Kngwarreye (deceased), Barbara Weir, Kathleen Petyarre, Gloria Petyarre, Ada Bird and Minnie Pwerle (deceased).

The Utopia region is home to around 2000 people, mainly Alyawarre speakers, who live in twenty five outstations flanking the Sandover River. Other languages such as Kaytetye, Anmatyerre and some Arrernte are also spoken. Most people speak some English. Traditional culture is very strong and the community is governed by the traditional owners. Utopia covers approximately 1800 square kilometres region of desert country. Previously pastoral land, the country has been owned by the community since 1972 and has not been grazed significantly since that time so it has largely returned to its natural state. The country is mainly mulga scrub and spinifex on red sandy flats, broken up by dry river beds lined with gum trees and paperbarks.Some of the outstations in Utopia include: Arlparra (the main store), Atneltye (Boundary Bore), Lyentye (Mosquito Bore), Atnarare (Soakage Bore), Arrawarre (Soapy Bore), Irrultja (Irrweltye), Ingkwelaye (Kurrajong Bore), Ankerrapwe (Utopia Homestead) and Artekerre (Three Bores).

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