Entering into the weird
and wonderful world of Ken Wallis is a bit like stepping through the wardrobe
and entering the world of Narnia.
From an unsuspecting
storefront on Redfern St, Sydney, clusters of 50s luggage and rusting outdoor
benches make way for a fantastical shed filled with colourful collectables, freshly-cut
flowers and parrots – both stuffed and live.
Andrew Birley, who today
is manning the store while Wallis is at the auctions in Melbourne, tells me he
is compelled to greet the collection on entering, such is the life seemingly
imbued in each of the hand-picked items.
You could indeed expect
anything from Wallis’ world.
Each object and artefact –
whether it’s the vintage skittles, retro children’s tricycles or the stained
specimen bottles – tells a story of their former life or incarnation.
His forest of finds clamber
up the walls, dangle from the high beams and jostle for space on the groaning
Wallis opened Seasonal
Concepts just over 1 year ago, and while it appears to be full to the brim,
“things move quickly” in store.
Gasps of delight seems
quite the norm upon entering– “it’s unreal” exclaims one bowled over customer
who proceeds to marvel at all her findings, particularly Roger the taxidermal
giraffe from Melbourne’s Zoo, who bears the price tag of $35,000 and, I am
assured, died of natural causes.
“It’s an eclectic store that
attracts an eclectic mix of people,” Andrew tells me.
An eclectic mix it might
be, but Seasonal Concepts has certainly cornered the market for housing
precious treasures with more to offer than meets the eye.
122 Redfern St
Redfern NSW 2016
(61 2) 8399 2435