History

History

Utopia Australia came into being in 2007 in Alice Springs when the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) hit the world. Mbantua Aboriginal Art Gallery worked with aboriginal artists and sold almost exclusively, Aboriginal art. Unfortunately, once the GFC hit the majority of people stopped purchasing items such as art and although it hit the gallery hard, what people often don’t recognise is that if the gallery can’t sell art it makes it very hard for them to purchase art which means the artists lose their main source of income. As we didn’t want this to happen but also couldn’t continue the same level of purchasing art so we had to come up with another way of providing both ourselves and our artists with a way of making money – thus the idea of Utopia Australia was born.

We had local lawyers draw up contracts and we spoke with our artists and gave them a chance to opt in if they wished - I don’t believe any artist that we approached said no! And so we began our journey.

In its infancy Utopia Australia traded as Barker Souvenirs and we slowly built up a solid foundation of products featuring Aboriginal designs by our artists. We began with postcards and magnets and our still in production – wine, water and stubby coolers.

We have learned so much over the intervening years: we have had to drop some product lines to make way for new ones, we have learned that not all amazing painting designs translate well to products, we have learned that although we would love to make everything here in Australia it is not always possible to either have them made here or have them made in Australia at a price that consumers are willing to pay.

We believe that we have now built up an incredible line of products featuring some amazing designs that appeal to people Australia and worldwide!

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