Australian Arts and Products, Sydney
Conveniently located off the stage door of the Sydney Opera House, the Aboriginal Art Shop has a nice selection of paintings and artefacts as well as masks and sculpture from Papua New Guinea. Instead of going into the opera house, I went into a shop that sold only things made by the aborigines. I didn't buy anything because, in my opinion, everything was too ugly and in bad taste. Besides, it cost too much.
What to buy: This shop's specialty is in gift items such as scarves, jewelry, books and t-shirts. While I didn't care for anything sold here, Mama bought some earrings and a necklace.
The Aboriginal Art Shop on the Upper Concourse of the Sydney Opera House, sits quietly beside one entrance to the Opera House quietly sharing its wares.
I arrived out of the hot sun and sat on a stool outside the shop............ahhhhh just to be in the shade. A station wagon pulled up and out hopped a man who entered the shop ........ then he was seen in the shop window helping the assistant remove an amazing painting. He put it in the back of his wagon and left. A visiting conductor, Monica said.
Monica works as the caretaker and sales person of the art within this shop. We had a chat...........I bought some coasters and Monica said that it would be OK to take a photograph inside the shop............so I did.
What to buy: Many things but I could spend a fortune on Aboriginal art.
What to pay: Some of the art is very expensive.
You have the chance to defy the vicious system of exploitation of aboriginals by buying their products directly from them. One example is the street musicians who promote their music by playing their didgeridoos on street corners. In my case this was at the ferryboat terminal, where the musician was displaying a number of instruments laid on a colourful carpet. His assistant was managing the money-CD exchange while excerpts from the CD were being played and explained in detail by the virtuoso.
In the end everybody was happy – the buyer for the expense of 10$ as opposed to 30$, the performer for the non-taxed direct income and the community for the free concert.
What to buy: Didgeridoo music
What to pay: 10$
Tipical Chinatown strip outlet
What to buy: Chinatown strip offers the opportunity to buy a didgeridoo at the fraction of the price. It is true that the sizes are much smaller but this is an advantage when time for packing comes – fits perfectly in any backpack. There is the lingering suspicion that anything that comes from Chinatown might be produced in China and thus lower the quality of the product and tarnish the attraction of authenticity. Even if this is the case it is still worth buying it because it reflects the current state of affairs in Australia where the aboriginals are underrepresented. A careful look at the didgeridoo market may imply that the majority of the Australian inhabitants are aboriginals (way up from the official 1%) otherwise, judging by the number of handicraft, every single aboriginal including the toddlers must make at least a couple of didgeridoos a day!?!
What to pay: 30$
When my wife and I are in Sydney we love stoping into this gallery. Ken Duncan is a photographer who takes amazing landscape pictures. I have recently delved into the hobby of photography in a more serious level and can appreciate the beautiful pictures and their amazing uses of light.
The gallery has various works available for sale from postcards all the way to large prints. Prices also range from inexpensive postcards to expensive pictures in the thousands.
Our last visit in November 2010 my wife bought me a Ken Duncan framed picture for my office at home. It is a Sydney Harbor scene at sunset with the Opera House and Harbor Bridge in view and reflected in the waters.
What to buy: Anything from a post card, puzzle or framed picture.
What to pay: Inexpensive to very expensive.
I love this Gallery and have been coming here since my first visit to Sydney. Ken Duncan is an incredible Australian photographer that specializes in landscapes; in particular panoramic landscapes.
Ken Duncan's work is incredible. I love the beauty in his pictures. He manages to capture the true essence of his subject; the light, the testure, the flow...everything seems to be so real you could reach in and touch it. I love stopping in every trip to see the new pieces and purchase one for our home.
Not to worry; there is something for every budget from the original number artwork, posters, postcards, puzzles and some beautiful books showcasing his work. Original pieces can be purchsed with or without framing. Over the years my husband and I have purchased several of his original pices as well as some books. The books come in small and large sizes; perfect for gifts. I have given several of the larger books and gifts to friends and they have fell in love with Ken Duncan as I have.
So stop in a be amazed by his work; trust me you will love it.
What to buy: There are several items for sale in the gallery: postcards, puzzles, prints, posters and books.
What to pay: Prices vary on original pieces depending on size and landscape: from the thousands to the $250 range is common.
My granddaughter had a list of things she wanted to get or that people had asked her to bring them and usually a museum shop is a pretty good place to buy things that are reasonable in price and not just tourist junk.
What to buy: So she shopped around and got a couple of boomerangs for her dad and a few other little souvenirs. They have books, T-shirts, aprons, mugs, umbrellas, snowdomes, key rings and kits.
According to the website, you can now order things from this store on line.
Most people going to Australia will want to buy a boomerang or some sort of aboriginal item. Of course these things are all over the place (even at the airport!) but when buying something at this store, the money goes back to the tribe who made it. It is owned by an aborigini - a big bloke who will be happy to answer any questions you might have. They have a great selection of boomerangs, digeridoos, prints, books, bullroarers, etc.
What to buy: I bought two very nice returning boomerangs for 35.00 each and my husband bought a digeridoo for $145.00 (which he can actually play I might add!)
Here is a list of some of our famous Australian Products.
Tim Tam biscuits
Tea tree oil
Bunya Bunya Nuts
Cherry Ripe Bar
Caramello Koalas chocolates
Mint slice biscuits
Violet crumble bar
Redback BBQ Blitz
Stuffed Koala bears
Ken Done t/shirts
VB Beer - not fosters
Long beach cigarettes for smokers
Book: Don’t die in the bush
RM Williams clothes and boots
Drizabone oilskin coats
What to buy: Any of the food items can be found at any supermarket.
For clothes mentioned they can be located in the CBD. (city)
What to buy:
Aboriginal Art is extremely different, and each picture tells a story, which may be hard to see at first but use your imagination!!
I got a wall hanging, which looks great. You can't go home without some sort of art. I also got a notebook, because I absolutely loved it!
What to pay: As there are many different types of products, there is a wide range!! But shop around before you commit!
What to buy:
YOU MUST BUY A BOOMERANG
IT DOES NOT MATTER IF IT DOES NOT FLY AND IF IT IS JUST FOR SHOW
IT MUST BE BOUGHT
What to pay: Depends completely on the quality and function!! I bought one for AUS$8 and its for show. My brother payed double that and its meant to fly!!
RM Williams is an Australian institution. They have been selling Aussie-style country wear for years. There are branches all over Sydney and most big malls would have a branch of this shop.
What to buy: Akubra hats, moleskin clothes, boots