Melbourne correspondent Collette Swindells reports on the latest exhibition from Craft Victoria.
November 4th, 2009
Looking at the concept of the art souvenir, Melbourne design agency Third Drawer Down are on show at Craft Victoria with their ‘Sold Out’ exhibition.
Celebrating the artist and art object as brand, Third Drawer Down is also keen to illustrate their unique take on creating limited edition textiles, bed linen, accessories and stationery for international audiences.
Having worked as a product developer for the National Gallery of Victoria straight after finishing her Fine Arts degree at RMIT, director Abi Crompton says she has always been interested in the production and manufacturing of goods.
Working for the Craft Council almost nine years ago, Crompton says she was further exposed to the business of art, working with small studio designers and makers of crafted goods, and it was here that the idea for Third Drawer Down took root.
Using a collection of shrunken tea towels donated to her by her father, and inspiration from Andy Warhol and the Pop Art movement, she took on the then relatively unsaturated concept of the limited edition, in its pure form, with her version of accessible and affordable art.
“I suppose it was very much the establishment of an art project within a design model. It was quite a universal idea that wasn’t too hard for people to get their head around. The design industry picked it up, the art industry understood it, and homewares stores and museums liked it too,” she says.
Since then, Third Drawer Down has organically expanded to include a project arm – producing products in collaboration with local and international artists – and an agency that works with galleries and museums to produce art souvenirs for exhibitions.
And with a collaboration and client list that includes Louise Bourgeois, MoMA and the Tate Modern, and a recent spotlight mention in the NY Times, there is definitely no limit for this boutique design venture.
‘Sold Out’ runs until November 15.
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