Looking for an interesting gift? Recently, I took an easy walk from the Queen Street Mall across the Brisbane River to South Bank, and explored the shops attached to four of our most well-known institutions – the Queensland Art Gallery, the Queensland Museum, the State Library of Queensland, and the Gallery of Modern Art. The variety of gifts in these small stores was unexpected, and designed to delight individuals of all ages.
This shop included books on art, and prints from various collections. I particularly liked 'The Kiss', a picture from Gustav Klimt's golden period printed on a fridge magnet, and plan to add this to a wedding gift. I also liked an umbrella with a sky print, good for rain or shade. The contemporary Australian jewellery caught my eye, because it included pieces highlighting the rich colours of salvaged wood.
Exit, and turn right. Entry to the Queensland Museum shop is through the yellow glass doors at the end of the walkway.
It was the practical yet beautiful gifts that held greatest appeal for me here: a garden kneeler and matching gardening gloves in a lovely bird-plant print, perfect for a family member who is a keen gardener, and a small flashlight in an English Rose print, for a very stylish friend. I stopped to smell the deliciously scented soaps, clothing protectors, drawer sachets, and eye pillows, chuckled over a book on hairstyles for beards, inspected educational posters and pocket guides, games, Galileo's Thermometer, as well as rocks and minerals with beautiful colours, patterns, and textures.
Exit, turn left, and walk to the end. Take the stairs or lift down to the next level. Turn left, and walk. The State Library is on your right, and the shop is just inside the main entrance.
This shop had gift wrap with a difference, and the sheets I bought were covered in collective nouns, for example, a pandemonium of parrots, a drove of tourists, a murder of crows, and a kindle of kittens. These would be great laminated, and hung as posters in areas like the bathroom, allowing people to learn where they linger. There was a large selection of books about Brisbane, childrens' books, fun books like 'Menswear Dog', origami cards, and even a wooden postcard of Brisbane.
Exit, and turn right. The Gallery of Modern Art shop is at the end of the walkway.
Items that caught my eye here were the magnetic poetry kits inspiring me to create amusing messages on the fridge, kaleidoscopes which brought back childhood memories, plastic moustaches in pink or black attached to the ends of pencils, temporary tattoos, a 'home-made' stamp for baking, and a boot-shine kit. There were cute helmets and knitted beanies for soft-boiled eggs, and some unusual and beautiful jewellery.
Why? These gift shops may provide inspiration when you just don't know what to buy someone.
When:Queensland Art Gallery: 10am-5pm daily; Queensland Museum: 9.30am-5pm daily; State Library of Queensland: 9.30am-5pm daily; Gallery of Modern Art: 10am-5pm daily. Check websites for opening times on public holidays.