Saturday, September 1, 2007

One more for the week

I also decided to pop into 696 Gallery on Sydney road on Friday. For some reason I have just kept hearing about 696 this week, so I thought I'd take a look for myself.

696 is part gallery, part shop. As you can see by the image, they stock everything from artwork to T-shirts to badges to toys and more. It's a smallish space but they make the most of it by packing everything in.

It's a cool store. A couple of thoughts that I had as I was visiting:
  • The location: Sydney road is great, but does the location pull enough people in? Does a gallery need to be in a good location to pull in the feet traffic, or will people travel?
  • Product range: Are they trying to sell too many different things in the one store?
  • Layout: Some might argue that there is too many pieces on the walls ... but I actually like viewing art like this. In a 'formal' gallery you aren't as free to just browse ... It's as though you need to stop and reflect on each piece exhibited. 696 feels much more down to earth.
  • Support for local artists: Quite clearly they are supporting local artists, and from some of the Melbourne blogs that I've been reading this week, 696 has already generated some local fans since their opening earlier this year.
Their myspace page re-affrims some of these thoughts:
We are a low commission based, free rental space, shop/indoor-outdoor gallery. Keen on supporting local artists, national talent and just cool shit in general. A Non-arrogant approachable space with an eclectic goal. Artists always wanted.
They also have a smallish room out back for smallish exhibitions - right now they are running 'A Pretty Discomfort' : by Narida Yeatman-Morgan.


Liss said...

You probably been hearing about it on my blog :-) I think ive posted about it a few times. hehe.

Well I agree with the prints on walls. some might think it is too much....but i like to just stare and browse through the art. The art feels more approachable then in other art galleries.

Jason said...

oooooooo ... well .. before you open a gallery .. you got to ask yourself ... what kinda gallery do you really want?

a serious commerical gallery which is going to get critical reviews serious, art collectors and stable established artists (Tolarno, Charles Nodrum, John Buckley ...)? or a shop gallery which is open 7 days, just porns off art which can sell and ends up having a less than desirable reputation which no serious artist would touch? (Tusk, Jackman, etc etc)

Ben Rowe said...


I'll have to take a look at these galleries to see both ends of the spectrum (and perhaps find a happy medium?).

Thanks to you both for the comments.