Utopia: The Unexpected Gallery - an original concept in decorative interiors in Norfolk. An artist gallery where poetic juxtapositions of unusual objects: antiques, flora and the found form unique statement lights and contemporary limited edition lampshades harmonised with original art and fine art prints - all designed and made in-house.
Utopia works to commission with private, corporate and retail clients, dynamically blending art and design to make dreams a reality. Utopia offers something different, something unexpected…
Utopia was born out the aim to offer clients something different, something less expected, that was a leap away from the high street. The collective creativity of Jac Scott and Michael Slaney forms the backbone of Utopia’s vision.
Its two key architects regard Utopia’s atelier both as a laboratory for experimentation of new ideas and a giant cabinet of curiosities for their designs and creations. The atelier is spread over several sites and includes: a gallery in the courtyard at Creake Abbey, North Creake, Norfolk, for display and consultation with commissioning clients, plus retailing directly to the public, and a workshop, studio, office and storeroom at a nearby village.
Creative Director and Founder of Utopia: The Unexpected Gallery: Jac Scott
Jac Scott MRBS is a multi-award winning visual artist, a member of the Royal British Society of Sculptors with an international exhibition portfolio. Scott is an innate researcher and lateral thinker enabling her creative world to be without boundaries.
Her vision of developing a unique company that harnessed the collaborative creativity and skills of herself and her husband, Michael Slaney, came from a frustration of the narrow offering of many decorative interior outlets.
Technical Director: Michael Slaney
Michael Slaney is a master cabinetmaker and antique restorer with over 30 years experience of bringing new life to damaged pieces. Michael’s furniture design company, Michael Slaney Design, won many accolades. Drawing on this depth of experience across a wide breadth of materials and processes, Michael now applies these skills to reengineering antique items into unique lamps and lights.
The Expert Team
The British team of expert craftsmen who work with Utopia include: a wood turner, an antique crystal specialist, metal fabricators, lamp shade manufacturers, fine art printers, a picture framer and a qualified electrician.
Creating the Dream
Utopia's aim is to design and make individual pieces of interior accessories that form great focal points in any room. Even, the shade designs are limited to only one hundred of each, regardless of shape, to ensure that clients enjoy an element of exclusivity that is Utopia. Utopia believes in the value of good design, excellent craftsmanship and in using only the best materials to ensure that every product made contributes to stylish living and living sustainably. In line with this we aim to support British manufacturing by prioritising sourcing materials locally and harnessing the skills of British craftsmen.
Utopia’s environmental policy underpins its design practice, hence the processes and materials used possess as green credentials as possible. The products are made to last and be cherished for longer, the team actively work against the ‘inbuilt obsolescence’ mantra favoured by many manufacturers and prioritise sourcing only sustainable woods, the best quality paints, varnishes, fittings and electrical components.
Utopia are advocates of the reusing clean packaging fit for reuse - and all can be reused again and/or recycled.
Selling the Dream
Utopia: The Unexpected Gallery has a unique retail gallery based in the pretty courtyard complex at Creake Abbey in North Creake, Norfolk.
The atmospheric gallery transports clients into an inspirational dreamy world that exudes a faded grandeur with a hint of the surreal. Discover aged artefacts lovingly transformed into lighting, each endowed with a palpable sense of time and history, amongst antiques capturing the lost splendour of the banqueting table.
Fresh, contemporary lampshades, inspired by the wonder of flora, birds and literature, form ethereal layered designs in muted tones.
Sculpture and giclee prints of Jac Scott’s drawings complete the Unexpected Gallery.
The gallery is open all year – please consider the opening times on our Contact Us page before visiting.
Retailers of Utopia's Collections
You can find our unique lamp creations at Osprey London's flagship store in Regents Street, London and in its lifestyle store at St. Albans.
Osprey London flagship store
27 Regent Street, St James's, London SW1Y 4NQ Tel. 0044 207 8519960
Osprey London St. Albans lifestyle store
Woodcock Hill, Coopers Green Lane, St Albans, Hertfordshire AL4 9HJ Tel. 0044 1707 264332
Independent interior design company, Aitch Interiors in Lincolnshire, proudly sell a range of Utopia’s unique products. Find them at:
Aitch Interiors, No 4 The Stables, Wellingore Hall, Wellingore, Lincoln LN5 0HX
Tel: 01522 810961 Open Tuesday to Friday 10am – 5pm
Working to Commission
Utopia regularly works to commission with private and corporate clients, interior designers and independent high-end retailers to create bespoke products. We relish developing bespoke commissions that encompass our client’s wishes. With a strong track record of working to commission, and a team of experts on hand, we are ideally placed to transform your ideas into a utopia of your very own. Creating a poetic dialogue between unexpected objects and materials, whether for a product, collection, display or publication, we will enjoy working with you to build something new, dynamic and engaging.
The team are passionate about creating a collection of atmospheric interior pieces that celebrate, redefine and invigorate well-worn antiques and intriguing finds.
Please enquire and Utopia will be happy to discuss the possibilities with you.
Here is a small sample of some of the commissions from clients.