World Food Books is a book shop in Melbourne, Australia.
Founded in 2010, World Food Books is a book service dedicated to the presentation of a rotating, hand-selection of quality international art and design journals, artists’ monographs, exhibition catalogues, artists’ editions, collected writings and printed ephemera.
Presenting new titles alongside rare and out-of-print publications spanning the fields of contemporary art, modern art, cultural theory, photography, film, poetry, fiction, fashion, architecture, interior design, typography, illustration, politics and much between, World Food Books wishes to encourage active and thoughtful reading, looking, writing, publishing, and exchanging of art and design press, both contemporary and historical.
As well as our book shop, located in Melbourne's historical Nicholas Building, all of our inventory is available internationally via our online mail-order service. We also have outposts at MUMA (Monash University Museum of Art) and Westspace, both also in Melbourne.
World Food Books semi-regularly co-ordinates "Occasions", a program of exhibits and events at the bookshop and in partnership with other hosts (such as museums and art galleries) that develop out of the activities, relationships and content of the bookshop itself.
World Food Books
The Nicholas Building
Studio 19, Level 3
37 Swanston Street
THURS 11-5 PM
FRI 11-6 PM
SAT 12-4 PM
& OPEN BY APPOINTMENT
MAIL ORDER RUNS EVERY DAY
World Food Books
PO Box 435
Theory / Essay
Architecture / Interior
Graphic Design / Typography
Fiction / Poetry
Film / Video
Sculpture / Installation
Performance / Dance / Theater
Sound / Music
Group Shows / Collections
Illustration / Graphic Art
Ceramics / Glass
Italian Radical Design / Postmodernism
Susan Te Kahurangi King
02 February - 10 March, 2018
Susan Te Kahurangi King (24 February 1951 - ) has been a confident and prolific artist since she was a young child, drawing with readily available materials - pencils, ballpoint pens and felt-tip markers, on whatever paper is at hand. Between the ages of four and six Susan slowly ceased verbal communication. Her grandparents William and Myrtle Murphy had developed a special bond with Susan so they took on caring responsibilities for extended periods. Myrtle began informally archiving her work, carefully collecting and storing the drawings and compiling scrapbooks. No drawing was insignificant; every scrap of paper was kept. The King family are now the custodians of a vast collection containing over 7000 individual works, from tiny scraps of paper through to 5 meter long rolls.
The scrapbooks and diaries reveal Myrtle to be a woman of great patience and compassion, seeking to understand a child who was not always behaving as expected. She encouraged Susan to be observant, to explore her environment and absorb all the sights and sounds. Myrtle would show Susan’s drawings to friends and people in her community that she had dealings with, such as shopkeepers and postal workers, but this was not simply a case of a grandmother’s bias. She recognised that Susan had developed a sophisticated and unique visual language and sincerely believed that her art deserved serious attention.
This was an unorthodox attitude for the time. To provide some context, Jean Dubuffet coined the term Art Brut in 1945 to describe work created by self-taught artists – specifically residents of psychiatric institutions and those he considered to be visionaries or eccentrics. In 1972 Roger Cardinal extended this concept by adopting the term Outsider Art to describe work made by non-academically trained artists operating outside of mainstream art networks through choice or circumstance. Susan was born in Te Aroha, New Zealand in 1951, far from the artistic hubs of Paris and London that Dubuffet and Cardinal operated in. That Myrtle fêted Susan as a self-taught artist who deserved to be taken seriously shows how progressive her attitudes were.
Susan’s parents Doug and Dawn were also progressive. Over the years they had consulted numerous health practitioners about Susan’s condition, as the medical establishment could not provide an explanation as to why she had lapsed into silence. Dawn educated herself in the field of homeopathy and went on to treat all twelve of her children using these principles – basing prescriptions on her observations of their physical, mental and emotional state.
Doug was a linguist with an interest in philosophy who devoted what little spare time he had to studying Maori language and culture. To some extent their willingness to explore the fringes of the mainstream made them outsiders too but it was their commitment to living with integrity and their respect for individuality that ensured Susan’s creativity was always encouraged.
Even though Susan’s family supported her artistic pursuits, some staff in schools and hospitals saw it as an impediment to her assimilation into the community and discouraged it in a variety of ways. Her family was not always aware of this and therefore did not fully understand why Susan stopped drawing in the early 1990s. However, rather than dwell on the challenges that Susan faced in pursuit of her artistic practice, they prefer to highlight her achievements. In 2008 Susan began drawing again in earnest, after an almost 20 year interruption, and her work is now shown in galleries around the world.
Susan grew up without television and has been heavily influenced by the comics she read as a child. She is absolutely fearless in the appropriation of recognizable characters, such as Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse, in her work. She twists their limbs, contorts their faces, compresses them together, blends them into complex patterned backgrounds - always imbuing them with an incredible energy. Although Susan often used pop culture characters in her work they are not naive or childlike. These are drawings by a brilliant self-taught artist who has been creating exceptional work for decades without an audience in mind.
"Various Works 1986 - 1999"
02 February 16 - September 10, 2016
Various works 1986 - 1999, from two houses, from the collections of John Nixon, Sue Cramer, Kerrie Poliness, Peter Haffenden and Phoebe Haffenden.
Including: Geometry of Cakes (various shelves), 1993; Poor People’s Law (black and white plate), 1993; White Absence (glasses, ruler, set square, silver spoon, silver ladel with skin photograph and wooden cubes), 1990-1996; Exploitation of the Dead (grey and red star painting, wooden painting, black spoon with red table, red plate), 1984-1990; Money and Zeros (zero tie, paintings made for friends in Australia (Sue, John, Kerrie), numbers painting), 1991-1992; Words - Slogans (various t-shirts) - “they talk about the death of art...help! someone is trying to kill me”, “my sweet little lamb”, “work is a disease - Karl Marx”; Various artist books, catalogues, monographs, videos; Poster from exhibition Insulting Anarchy; "Circular" Croatian - Australian edition; Artist book by Vlado Martek (Dostoyevsky); more.
Thanks to Mladen Stilinović and Branka Stipančić.
Curated by Nic Tammens
March 26 - April 4, 2015
B.Wurtz works from a basement studio in his home on Manhattan’s Lower East Side.
This local fact is attested to by the plastic shopping bags and newsprint circulars that appear in his work. As formal objects, they don’t make loud claims about their origins but nonetheless transmit street addresses and places of business from the bottom of this long thin island. Like plenty of artists, Wurtz is affected by what is local and what is consumed. His work is underpinned by this ethic. It often speaks from a neighborhood or reads like the contents of a hamper:
“BLACK PLUMS $1.29 lb.”
“USDA Whole Pork Shoulder Picnic 99c lb.”
“RITE AID Pharmacy, with us it’s personal.”
“H. Brickman & Sons.”
“Sweet Yams 59c lb."
Most of the work in this exhibition was made while the artist was in residence at Dieu Donne, a workshop dedicated to paper craft in Midtown. Here Wurtz fabricated assemblages with paper and objects that are relatively lightweight, with the intention that they would be easily transportable to Australia. This consideration isn’t absolute in Wurtz’s work, but was prescriptive for making the current exhibition light and cheap. Packed in two boxes, these works were sent from a USPS post office on the Lower East Side and delivered to North Melbourne by Australia Post.
Wurtz appears courtesy of Metro Pictures, New York.
Thanks to Rob Halverson, Joshua Petherick, Sari de Mallory, Matt Hinkley, Helen Johnson, Fayen d'Evie, Ask Kilmartin, Lisa Radon, Ellena Savage, Yale Union, and "Elizabeth".
December 15 - January 20, 2014
The presentation of John Nixon's archive offered a rare showcase of this extensive collection of the artist's own publications, catalogues, posters, ephemera, editions and more, from the mid 1980s onwards, alongside a selection of his artworks.
Organized by John Nixon, Joshua Petherick and Matt Hinkley.
at Minerva, Sydney (curated by Joshua Petherick and Matt Hinkley)
November 15 - December 20, 2014
Lupo Borgonovo, Janet Burchill & Jennifer McCamley,
Lewis Fidock, HR Giger, Piero Gilardi, Veit Laurent Kurz,
Cinzia Ruggeri, Michael E. Smith, Lucie Stahl, Daniel Weil, Wols
“...It contained seven objects. The slender fluted bone, surely formed for flight, surely from the wing of some large bird. Three archaic circuitboards, faced with mazes of gold. A smooth white sphere of baked clay. An age-blackened fragment of lace. A fingerlength segment of what she assumed was bone from a human wrist, grayish white, inset smoothly with the silicon shaft of a small instrument that must once have ridden flush with the surface of the skin - but the thing’s face was seared and blackened.”
William Gibson, “Count Zero”, 1986
"Autumn Projects Archive"
Curated by Liza Vasiliou
March 6 - March 15, 2014
World Food Books, in conjunction with the Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival 2014, presented the Autumn Projects archive, consisting of a selection of early examples in Australian fashion with a particular interest in collecting designers and labels from the period beginning in the 1980’s, who significantly influenced the discourse of Australian Fashion.
Curated by Liza Vasiliou, the exhibition provided a unique opportunity to view pieces by designers Anthea Crawford, Barbara Vandenberg, Geoff Liddell and labels CR Australia, Covers, Jag along with early experimental collage pieces by Prue Acton and Sally Browne’s ‘Fragments’ collection, suspended throughout the functioning World Food Books shop in Melbourne.
presented by CENTRE FOR STYLE
November 14, 2013
"Hey Blinky, you say chic, I say same"
H.B. Peace is a clothing collaboration between great friends Blake Barns and Hugh Egan Westland. Their pieces explore the divergences between 'character’ and ‘personality’ in garments....etc
Special Thanks to Joshua Petherick and Matt Hinkley of WFB and Gillian Mears
and a Very Special Thank you to Audrey Thomas Hayes for her shoe collaboration.
Janet Burchill & Jennifer McCamley
May 10 - June 8, 2013
The first of our occasional exhibitions in the World Food Books office/shop space in Melbourne, "Aesthetic Suicide" presented a body of new and older works together by artists Janet Burchill & Jennifer McCamley, including videos, prints, a wall work, and publications.
During shop open hours videos played every hour, on the hour.