The gift shop is often an underestimated space within a gallery. Sure, it’s not the star of the show, but it can be full of treasures that allow you take part of the gallery experience home with you.
The collaboration between Third Drawer Down and the Centre for Contemporary Photography (CCP) comes out of a long friendship between CCP director Naomi Cass and Third Drawer Down’s Abigail Crompton, who both came to the agreement that it was time to inject some new life into the CCP shop via the quirky touch of Third Drawer Down’s retail museum concept.
“People used to assume that the shop was just a library,” says Cass, referring to the fact that the shop used to only stock photography books. “We only used to get regulars coming in. Now we’re hoping to expose our visitors to a lot of great up-and-coming artists and give these artists some much needed exposure.”
Emerging artists will be given the opportunity to develop products for the shop through commissions – the first of which was granted to Brodie Vera Wood, a VCA graduate who created the display tables for the shop.
Crompton frames the shop as “a meeting place between commercial products and art”, much of which she has garnered through her years of sourcing weird and wonderful products for Third Drawer Down.
Currently, the shop stocks new and second-hand photography books as well as photography-related items like Lomo cameras, a photography manual by Ruby Aitken and tumblers from Third Drawer Down’s collaboration with New York’s International Centre of Photography. Fans of Crompton's handpicked selection of too-pretty-to-use tea towels will also be happy about a dedicated tea towel rack.