About the art 

Selling and valuating


About the art

Where does the art come from?

Most of the art at Utopia Lane is created by aboriginal artists who come from a region called Utopia in Central Australia. A small percentage of artists belong to other areas within Central Australia, but whom generally have ties with the Utopia region in some way.

How do the artists make their paintings?

Utopia Lane artists apply a variety of tools to create their paintings with the predominate ones being brushes, bamboo satay sticks and ink bottles.

In the olden days, Utopia aboriginal people would use their fingers or make tyepales (small padded sticks) to use as brushes when applying paint to their bodies or rocks. Nowadays ready made brushes are generally used for both commercial painting and ceremonial uses. 

Bamboo satay sticks were used to create the majority of dot paintings for the first two decades of the Utopia Art Movement. While they are still used, many have mastered using small plastic ink bottles to create more even dots, whereby paint is squeezed out through different sized nibs. 

Read more about the application of dot paintings →

Why are there different spellings for the same skin names?

Yes we spell skin names slightly different between artists - depending on who they are. Or more specifically, the language they speak. According to linguists at the IAD press, dropping the 'e' from the end of most words distinguishes the Alyawarr written language from the Anmatyerre language. Alyawarr and Anmatyerre are the predominant languages spoken in the Utopia Region, both sharing many similar words, with Arrernte and Kaytetye being spoken as well. If we were to be technical though, another identifying feature the many Alyawarr written words have is an 'A' added to the beginning. Experts at the IAD have said these are not official ways to spell though, so we decided to adopt just the 'e' dropping - as a quick identifier - so that we don't create too much confusion.

On our website you might see we list other examples of ways names or words are spelled - often found when artists sign their work or when books reference words in the phonetic spelling - the way the word sounds.

For example:

Skin name = Pwerle

      • Pwerle = Anmatyerre spelling 
      • Pwerl = Alyawarr identifier
      • Apwerl = Alyawarr spelling
      • Pula = phonetic spelling

When in doubt - Anmatyerre spelling is the one most widely used as Arrernte and Kaytete words are spelled this way too. 

Confused? We recommend contacting IAD Press or checking out their huge range of resources. 


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Selling and valuating

Can you valuate my painting?

While we can give you an idea of current retail prices for Utopia artworks, if you would like to have your painting valued you will need to contact a licensed art valuer. 

I want to sell my paintings, can you help?

We do not source, sell or buy back artworks that have already been purchased in the marketplace. You may wish to look at selling via art auction houses.  


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What is GST?

All prices on our website include the 10% Australian Goods and Services Tax (GST). Overseas buyers can buy GST free, but please keep in mind you are responsible to pay any import duty applicable in your country. We recommend that you call your local customs agency to provide you with accurate information. 

Do your paintings come with Certificate's of Authenticity?

Yes, our paintings come with a Certificate of Authenticity and an artist profile, even the itsy bitsy little ones. 

What is a Certificate of Authenticity?

A Certificate of Authenticity is a document certifying an individual artwork as authentically painted or created by the artist named. Paintings are most often signed by the artist themselves, but the Certificate of Authenticity is certified by the gallery or representative. It usually contains important details to identify the painting such as title, artist's name, dimensions and the individual code or image of the painting. Additionally it should contain any information the artist wishes to elaborate about the subject matter. At Utopia Lane Gallery we try to include a photo of the artist holding the painting wherever possible for paintings above 30cm x 30cm.  

Read more about Certificates of Authenticity →

How do I care for my painting?

Our paintings are high quality artworks, painted with high quality acrylic paints onto cotton duck canvas or Belgian linen. They are extremely durable and can be stored rolled for many years, preferably with tissue paper and the painting rolled on the outside.

For display, due to their durability stretching is the most popular method of framing as the protection of a glass frame is not required. Of course the choice is always yours. If storing stretched, be cautious the painting is protected. 

Should the painting require cleaning, it can be wiped with a damp cloth.  

Which way do I hang my painting?

Unless otherwise noted, most of our paintings can be hung anyway you like. Our artists paint on the ground as if from a birds eye perspective, or from above, below and/or the sides and turn the canvas around as they paint.

There are some paintings however which feature spiritual figures, animals or plants illustrations that suggest a particular direction to hang. If you are unsure, please ask us. The choice is always yours.

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