The Art Gallery of WA will unveil the next piece of the puzzle in its multimillion-dollar revitalisation — a retail space fusing art, design, homewares and fashion.
The AGWA Design Store, opening Friday, will be an evolving space boasting eclectic art, contemporary fashion, gifts, books and collaborations with local and international artists and designers.
AGWA enlisted renowned fashion duo Leith Groves and Rob Marshall to reimagine its retail space, which sits on the ground floor of the gallery alongside the AGWA cafe and bar.
The space is set to transform every few months with artist collaborations and residencies — including WA design heavyweights Poppy Lissiman and Aurelio Costarella — forming a strong part of the store curation.
“It’s the transformation from something static to something active,” AGWA director Colin Walker explained.
“We want the whole feel of the gallery to be ever-changing. There’s this tradition in galleries where people come and then they’ll wait for the next exhibition.
“(But) we want to break that open completely so that there’s constantly change in the gallery and you can always come back and find different experiences.”
The first artist-in-residence is visual artist Emily Gibson, whose bright sculptures — including the one pictured— will be seen throughout the store.
Groves and Marshall aimed to ensure there was something for everyone among their eclectic product selections, no matter the price point or aesthetic.
“It’s important for retail to always move forward. It can’t get stagnant because regulars will come into the gallery and when they come each time every few months (there will be) a whole new feel and a whole new story,” Marshall said.
“It’s (also) important how the products are merchandised, you can take people on a journey.
“We wanted to transform the space into a destination where people can find works by WA artisans such as Studio Mulders, exclusive pieces from Italian ceramics legend Bitossi or enjoy picking out something fun and frivolous like an avant-garde banana lamp from Seletti.”
Walker said the store’s opening, which follows the opening of the gallery’s new rooftop bar last year, speaks to the new vision of the gallery.
“The store represents the next transformational stage in AGWA’s overall redevelopment,” he says.
“We wanted to ensure we were offering our gallery visitors, and the broader community a store that spoke to our passion for celebrating good art and design, but also offering something way beyond the traditional gallery gift shop.”
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