Atelier & Commissions
Discover Norfolk's Utopia: an atmospheric gallery that transports clients into an inspirational world that exudes a faded grandeur. The Unexpected Gallery is a unique concept gallery for fine art and lighting - all created in-house by artist Jac Scott and designer Michael Slaney.
Original statement lighting created from transformed antiques, is harmonised with exclusive, limited edition lampshades and restored antique and vintage furniture. The walls are adorned with fine art including: intriguing contemporary black and white studies of Norfolk’s wild landscapes and fauna plus original oil and encaustic paintings.
Utopia works to commission with private, corporate and retail clients, dynamically blending art, inventive design and expert craftsmanship.
Utopia offers something different, something unexpected…
Utopia was born out of the aim to offer clients something different, something less expected, that was a leap away from the usual high street offering. The collective creativity of Jac Scott and Michael Slaney forms the backbone of Utopia’s vision.
Utopia's two key architects regard the 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 on the high street in the pretty Georgian town of Holt, Norfolk, for consultation with commissioning clients and retailing directly to the public, plus a workshop, studio, office and storeroom in 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 Society of Sculptors with an international exhibition portfolio. Scott is an innate researcher and lateral thinker enabling her creative world to be without boundaries.
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, lamp shade makers, fine art printers, a tinsmith, a blacksmith and a picture framer.
Creating the Dream
Utopia's aim is to design and make individual pieces that form great focal points in any interior. 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 reusing clean packaging, buying recycled packaging and promoting reuse - lets keep the cycle small.
Selling the Dream
Utopia: The Unexpected Gallery has a unique retail gallery in Holt, Norfolk. The atmospheric gallery transports clients into an inspirational dreamy world that exudes a faded grandeur.
Discover aged artefacts lovingly transformed into lighting - each endowed with a palpable sense of time and history.
Fresh, contemporary lampshades, inspired by the wonder of flora, birds and literature, form ethereal layered designs in muted tones. Only 100 shades of each design are sold thus maintaining the exclusivity of our designs.
Original oil and encaustic land and seascape paintings by Jac Scott are for sale plus fine art prints of her original drawings.
Curated antiques, that compliment our style, are lovingly restored or utopiaised to add interesting accents and furnishings.
Working to Commission
Utopia works to commission with private and corporate clients to create bespoke products.
We have a strong track record of working to commission spanning 30 years. Whether for a product, artwork or display, we will enjoy working with you to build something new, dynamic and engaging.
Creative Director, Jac Scott, will be happy to discuss the possibilities with you.
Here is a small sample of some of the commissions
Encaustic Painting for Ms W
A prescriptive brief was rewarded with this feedback on her receiving the painting.
"I would never have been brave enough to commission a painting before I walked into the gallery but Jac made the whole process very enjoyable and managed to capture exactly what I envisaged. I love the painting and the light and movement makes it come alive."
Encaustic Painting for Mr & Mrs D
The clients wanted a dark, dynamic storm painting of a particular size, so Jac painted Rain Dance 2.
Rain Dance 2 drying in the studio before going to the framers.
Drawing Bayfield Hall
Mr & Mrs C of Bayfield Hall commissioned Jac to do a large drawing of the estate from a particular perspective. It was a surprise present for their son.
The clients were delighted with the result.
Giant Drawing of Alpacas
Owners of West Heath Barn, near Massingham, commissioned a giant picture of their alpacas for the wall of their dining room. The picture proved such a success with guests that the following year we designed a coordinating lampshade for some of the cottages.
Drawing Congham Hall
Owners of Congham Hall commissioned a drawing of the Hall for a wedding present to themselves with smaller print versions framed for guests.