FILLING THE GAP [because there is still hardly a picture to complete] – consolidating cultural and art historical resources and narrative around women artists in New South Wales 1870-1960. Women’s art historian Juliette Peers is being funded for a wide-ranging historical project intended to synthesise and cross reference information about lesser known Australian women artists pre 1960, with a view to gaining a more complex and multilayered mapping of the career trajectories, professional expectations and surviving tranches of works of historical women artists against the familiar narratives of the mainstream canon and artists who feature in the sale room. The project is intended to address the many black holes in public and popular memory around women artists prior to the emergence of feminist art in the 1970s.

The project is due to commence in 2016 and Juliette will concentrate upon tranches of women artists’ activities in New South Wales beyond the high profiled and rightly admired achievements of the key modernists such as Preston, Cossington-Smith, Crowley and Proctor. The research is not only biographical but seeks to map fields of activities where women made an identifiable contribution.

Juliette Peers
Juliette Peers is a senior lecturer in the School of Architecture and Design RMIT University. Her interests span art, design and cultural history and contemporary art/design practice and theory. Widely published, especially in public galleries, regional and university art spaces, including the Art Gallery of New South Wales and the Queensland Art Gallery, and public galleries in Germany, the United States and Britain, women artists are a consistent focus. Influential independent feminist visual culture projects includeco-curator and catalogue co-author of Completing the Picture: women artists and the Heidelberg era, author of More than just Gumtrees: a personal, social and artistic history of the Melbourne Society of Women Painters and Sculptorstwo commissioned histories of the Women’s Art Register (2005, 2015) and co-curator of As If: Echoes from the Women’s Art Register, Westspace, Melbourne and F-Generation Feminism, Art , Progressions George Paton Gallery, University of Melbourne featuring feminist-identifying artists from 9 countries

For enquiries or to provide information contact Juliette Peers


The CoUNTess Report: a benchmarking report and online resource on gender equality in the Australian contemporary visual arts sector is a comprehensive data collection and visualization project that establishes a benchmark of gender representation at this time and provide a measure for future evaluation. It is researched and written by Australian artist Elvis Richardson, and auspiced by the National Association for Visual Arts.

View The CoUNTess Report here

Recent media:
Maura Reilly, 'Taking the measure of sexism: facts, figures, and fixes', Art News, 26 May, 2016
Andrew Stephens, 'The Countess Report counts the cost of art's gender gap', The Sydney Morning Herald, 6 May, 2016
Andrew Stephens, 'The Countess Report counts the cost of art's gender gap', Canberra Times, 6 May, 2016
Jane Raffan, 'Counting Women in the Arts - The Countess Report', East Side FM, 28 April, 2016
'New survey paints grim picture of gender balance in Australian visual arts', The News Today, 30 March, 2016
Toby Fehily, 'New survey paints grim picture of gender balance in Australian visual arts', The Guardian, 9 March, 2016
Christine Eliezer, 'Studies show extent of gender inequality in aus music, arts', The Music Network, 9 March, 2016
Katrina Grant, 'Report on gender representation in the contemporary visual arts reveals continued imbalances', Melbourne Art Network, 8 March, 2016

Dewi Cooke, 'Art life: Tough enough to succeed, especially if you're a woman', The Age, 8 March, 2016
Ben Neutze, 'Gender imbalance rife in parts of Australia’s visual arts sector, new report reveals', Daily Review, 8 March, 2016
Madeleine Dore, 'Research reveals continuing gender bias', ArtsHub, 8 March, 2016
Brianna Munting, 'CoUNTess Report', Art Wires, Nationa Association of the Visual Arts Bulletin, 4 March, 2016

CoUNTess: Women count in the art-world is a blog publishing gender representation data in Australian contemporary visual arts, established in 2008 by Australian artist Elvis Richardson. The data collecting activities of CoUNTess have been cited as providing substantial traction and evidence for action by women artists in bringing gender equality to the fore in education, art practice and contemporary art culture.

Responses internationally to gender inequality in contemporary art over the past few years have increased with influential New York critic Jerry Saltz’s ongoing gender statistics commentary as well as initiatives such as The East London Fawcett Group’s Greater London Art Audit, a data collection project focused on London’s contemporary art galleries in 2012. Another Gallery Tally, begun in 2014 by Los Angeles artist Micol Hebron, operates as an open call for artists to submit a poster that visualizes the gender representation of a commercial gallery, and has gained huge popularity. All these projects have used statistics about in-equal gender representation to further question how notions of quality and taste apply in determining artistic merit and success.

Elvis Richardson
Born 1965 in Sydney but living and working in Melbourne, Elvis Richardson is an interdisciplinary artist whose conceptual practice explores social modes of recognition and memorialisation. Richardson re-values ‘found’ and obsolete personal and mass-produced objects and images and uses them to reconstruct stories of ambition and abandonment, public recognition and private nostalgia. Her work has been exhibited in many key Australian contemporary art spaces as well as commercial galleries, and she has been involved with numerous artist run initiatives including First Draft, Elastic and Ocular Lab. Most recently she initiated DEATH BE KIND, a bespoke gallery with curated exhibitions about art and death. In 2008 Elvis established CoUNTess, an online research project and blog that publishes data on gender representation in the Australian visual arts sector, and provides an essential tool for understanding the arts in Australia.

Symposium: Are We There Yet? 20-21 October 2012
Concurrent with the exhibition LOOK. LOOK AGAIN, The University of Western Australia held a two-day symposium to discuss issues facing women’s art, and the contribution of women artists to Australian life and culture. The symposium included presentations by national and international art historians, curators and artists.

Are We There Yet? featured a key note address from Catherine Morris, Curator at the Elizabeth A. Sackler Centre for Feminist Art at the Brooklyn Museum, New York, and presentations from nationally respected curators, art historians, writers and artists. These included Anita Callaway, Melissa Belanta, Juliette Peers, Sally Quin, CoUNTess (Elvis Richardson), Catriona Moore, Jo Holder, Jude Adams, Laura Castagnini, Anne Ferran and Daniel Thomas.

Selected papers were published in UWA’s online journal Outskirts, volume 29, November 2013.

Download Are We There Yet? exhibition brochure

Maud Sherwood, On the way to Market, Brittany, 1913, watercolour, 67.5 x 43 cm, CCWA 915. Cruthers Collection of Women's Art, The University of Western Australia. Courtesy the Maud Sherwood Estate.

Maud Sherwood, On the way to Market, Brittany, 1913, watercolour, 67.5 x 43 cm, CCWA 915. Cruthers Collection of Women's Art, The University of Western Australia. Courtesy the Maud Sherwood Estate.

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