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 11-7 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
"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.
Softcover, 124 pages, 23.5 x 29.7 cm
Published by Ruthin Craft Centre / Denbighshire
$120.00 - Out of stock
Gillian Lowndes (1936–2010) was one of the ceramic world’s most daring, radical and original artists of the post-war generation. Operating on the border territory between fine art and craft, she is renowned for her sensitive investigations of material and process, of serendipity and sculptural form. In view of her avant-garde position, it is surprising that in her lifetime she had notably few solo exhibitions, and that her art is not more widely known and appreciated beyond a network of ceramists, curators, gallerists, critics, collectors and enthusiasts engaged with the crafts and applied arts.
Published on the occasion of a large retrospective exhibition held at Ruthin Craft Centre, Wales, in 2013, curated by Amanda Fielding, this is the first major publication dedicated to the work of Lowndes, which is beautifully illustrated with photography of her incredible sculptural works across 124 pages with accompanying texts, biography, exhibition list, and more.
Very highly recommended!
About Gillian Lowndes:
Gillian Lowndes (1936 – 2 October 2010) was an English ceramics sculptor.
Born in Cheshire in 1936, she spent much of her childhood in British India. She studied at the Central School of Arts and Crafts beginning in 1957 and spent a year at L’École des Beaux-Arts in Paris in 1960. In the early 1970s she traveled to Nigeria with her husband, Ian Auld, a trip that would prove to be influential in her subsequent work. From 1975 until the early 1990s, she taught part-time at Camberwell College of Arts and Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design.
Since the early 1960s and 70s her work has challenged the traditional notions surrounding the form of a vessel and fine art. Through her non-traditional experimental methods of incorporating found objects and materials such as wire and various objects from found in everyday life into her ceramic work, she continually challenges the orthodox world of pure ceramics.
Her mixed-media sculptures have been referred to as bricolage, or sculptures that utilize found objects to construct new meaning. "Bricolage sculpture converts the inertia and exhaustion of found materials into new conduits of meaning…the idea of a Bricolage image…depends on the use of the found object wrenched from its original context, used as visual or tactile element but stripped of all but residual meaning". “Lowndes is keenly aware of the periodically changing objects that have furnished [her house] over time, and admits to a particular fondness for the usually taken for granted things that surround us in contemporary life: bulldog clips, can openers, forks, and pliers.”
Lowndes' affinity and approach to basic, used materials and their inherent materiality calls to mind Arte Povera. “The found materials [Lowndes employs] are poor, low-status ones – old bricks, clinker, granite clippings, mild steel strip, cheap industrially made cups and tiles.” Povera artists explore the relationship between art and life through the use of such everyday materials in contrast to “quasi-precious” ones like oil paint or marble that are traditionally used in “fine art.” These materials also imply issues pertaining to class and the differentiation between “high” and “low” art. However, Arte Povera “denotes not an impoverished art, but an art made without restraints, a laboratory situation in which a theoretical basis was rejected in favor of a complete openness towards materials and processes.”
Lowndes' approach and experimentation with form and materials is much like that of the Process Artists of the 1960s as well. Lowndes believes that "materials are the source of the ideas as well as their expression." Lowndes said of her own work that “...it is the methods and materials that produce the ideas, not the other way round. The choice of materials and the assemblage of pieces lead her towards the object and this process gives her work a strangeness that is visually rich, yet her work is still rooted with the ceramic process and material."
Lowndes used many different combinations and amalgamations of clay from fiberglass dipped in liquid porcelain slip to Egyptian paste in her work. Lowndes would often bury work made of Egyptian paste in sand during the firing using a saggar. After the initial firing she would then smash the pieces with a hammer and reassemble them with ceramic mortar or Nichrome wire. Cups and tiles are added with extra glaze and act as “an affectionate backward glance at the pottery traditions (that of the Leach tradition) of form and technique from which Lowndes emerged.” Through the firing process, her work goes through odd, curious metamorphosis. When the work is finished, the fusion of the disparate parts rarely resembles the original piece with which she began.
Previously, Lowndes had already possessed an affinity towards ethnographic objects. Ethnography is an anthropologic description of individual cultures and “human social phenomena”. Her visit to Nigeria codified her curiosity in the ethnographic aspects surrounding certain objects. However, she wasn't particularly drawn to the Nigerian pots, but to the non-ceramic materials they used. The seeming haphazard nature with which the materials were juxtaposed was broad and diverse. Nigeria's influence is seen through Lowndes' own use of diverse materials. The speed in which they worked was influential as well. "African expediency and improvisation appealed to her…[as well as] the poetic content of the artifacts." Specifically, the Yoruba, who live in southwestern Nigeria near Ife University where Lowndes' husband worked during their time there, are known for their new styles and approaches to art. Yoruba artwork, which takes numerous forms, is deeply imbedded in a philosophical discourse pertaining to “deep talk”. This conversation includes resemblance, balance, clarity, completeness, insight, aliveness, and durability. "Yoruba art might be defined summarily as ‘evocative form’ that is meant to be generative and transformative…at the core of Yoruba aesthetics is the saying ‘character (or essence) is beauty’. This refers to the essential nature of a thing or person. When art captures the essential nature of something, the work will be deemed 'beautiful'."
Upon her return from Africa, Lowndes' “impatience with clay” and the so-called “craftsmanly side of her art” is apparent through her combination of “mainstream” sculpture materials “…that put the concept before the material.” As a result of Lowndes’ open approach to working, leaving room for reworking and rediscovery, her work vacillates between and perhaps challenges the “undefined space between craft and fine art.” Her materially based experimentation and intuitive approach to making with a material that is traditionally seen as a purveyor of craft defines Lowndes' work as art that “…occupies an undefined space between the craft and fine artworlds.”