Rise Art

The weird and wonderful shops in London

Posted in Uncategorized by Scott @ Rise Art on June 4, 2010

One aspect I enjoy particularly about London is that it caters for every individual and its taste. London has something appealing to offer for every personality and lifestyle. Isn’t it fabulous to discover all these different quarters, restaurants, bars and things? While roaming the city streets, we have come across some shops that were so wonderful and original that we thought they deserved a post of their own. These shops are a little different, great fun and further offer things that are unique – they are worth a visit, even if you are just window shopping!

1. Victor Wynd’s Little Shop of Horrors

Part of the infamous Last Tuesday Society, this little store and museum is crammed with curiosities and memorabilia, some very ancient, some contemporary. Entering this little store in Hackney, one is immediately overwhelmed by the huge amount of odd things on display: painted pig noses (of real pigs!) are stacked next to the till, cabinets overflowing with diverse animals’ sculls, chocolate anuses, broken children’s toys, stuffed animals and mexican charms. Downstairs is a little museum, where you can discover the most hilarious, frightening and funny things! In the back of the shop is also a small gallery space showcasing contemporary art.

2. The Multiple Store

This store has been set up by two art-lovers wanting to make contemporary works more accessible to the public by commissioning well-known artists to produced multiples (basically limited edition works in 3D, often with a fun twist). The works are outstanding and I for one got immediately attached and wanted to buy every work. Artists published by the Multiple Store include : Keith Coventry, Anna Gallaccio and Sarah Stanton. However, the pricing might be much lower than for an original work, but are still a small investment.

3. The Playlounge

Housed in a gallery-like space in Picadilly, this toy-shop has been created for geeky grown-ups and kids alike. It offers a big variety of products, from vinyl-toys to stationary to games and clothing – their link? They are all cutting edge toys for design-conscious people. The staff is very knowledgeable about the products in the store, no matter how exotic.

4. Luna and Curious

This shop, situated directly on Brick Lane is simply fabulous! The owners of the shop – 8 in total – are all delightful individuals welcoming you with a warm smile. The collective opened this store as an antithesis to mass-production; so every piece is hand crafted and has a unique touch. You will discover plenty of treasures, ranging from the most wonderful jewellery and headdresses made of feathers to delicate porcelain and hand made stationary as well as plenty of odd things.

5. Tate Giftshop

The Gift Shop at Tate Modern has a fun range of artsy merchandise. There you find anything from t-shirts accompanying current exhibitions to baby bibs by Julian Opie to fun erasers – there is something for every budget. Tate Modern also houses a book store with a vast range of books on art and art-related subjects.

6. Iconastas

This small store in the Picadilly Arcades is packed with Russian art dating from ancient times up to the communist area. It is a delight to browse around in its intimate atmosphere. The owner, Chris, is a charming if a little eccentric fellow who will happily share his profound knowledge of the works to anybody visiting the store.

Did you discover some original stores that you would like to share with the Rise Art community?

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