AS IF: 40 years and beyond - Celebrating the Women’s Art Register


In October 2015, the Women’s Art Register, a dynamic slide library holding over 20,000 images and representing over 5000 artists, celebrates 40 years of persisting and insisting that women’s art matters. To honour this remarkable achievement, the Women’s Art Register will host a curated mini-festival of women’s artmaking, showcasing a dazzling array of women’s artistic contributions to the cultural landscape.

All events are FREE

This one-off program is bold, diverse and exciting. Enmeshing the old and new, here and there, now and then the project responds to the notion of AS IF (as if we’d still be here, I will continue to make art as if it is vital). The series of events, zig-zagging across, and supported by, the City of Melbourne and the City of Yarra, will include up to 100 emerging artists, mid-career artists and established artists who work in 2D and 3D forms. Printmakers, drawers, craft-artists, painters, sculptors and other artmakers, including artistic women who are newly settled in Melbourne and younger women who are interested in what their artistic feminist predecessors were making, will engage and re-engage artist and audience, actively presenting a re-envisaging of Melbourne’s cultural life by women artists.

Event 1: AS IF: When and now (Artists from the Women’s Art Register/past and present)

Queen Victoria Women’s Centre Gallery – 210 Lonsdale Street

Dates: 30th Sept – 30th Oct (Festival closing ceremony – Wednesday 28th Oct)

(45-50 artists respond (2D & 3D) to the query ‘what does artmaking mean to you?’
Curated by Gail Stiffe and Rosemary Mangiamele.

Event 2: AS IF: small print

Dates: 30th September – 31st October (Opening Wed 30th Sept – 6-8pm)

Mailbox Art Space, - 141 Flinders Lane, Melbourne

small print is an exhibition of artists using print as text and medium alongside a selection of works from the Women's Art Register. Curated by Danielle Hakim and Emily Castle.

Event 3: AS IF: Artmaking in tandem: Embracing Distance

City Library – 253 Flinders Lane, Melbourne

Dates: 2nd – 29th Oct (Opening Thurs 8th Oct 6-8pm)

A collaboration with artistic women who are newly settled in Melbourne and artist Rosa Tato (working with support from the North Melbourne Learning and Language Centre).


Event 4: AS IF: WAR Sliders: Drawing from 14,000 digitised slides in the WAR archive, on continuous loop in the entrance wall to the City Library

Event 5: AS IF: Echoes from the Women’s Art Register:

West Space - Level 1/225 Bourke Street, Melbourne

Dates: 1st Oct – 7th Nov (Opening Thurs 1st Oct 6-8pm)

A projection program of work by Australian women artists over the last 40 years of the W.A.R, including archivalmaterial  and recent audio interviews. A multi-use space for  listening,  viewing,  thinking and writing,  creating linksbetween the archives and contemporary practices. A collaborative curatorial project by Caroline Phillips, Juliette Peersand Laura Castagnini, with Emily Castle, Danielle Hakim, Stephanie Leigh and Kalinda Vary, and Holly Ingleton (UK).

Event 6: AS IF: Echoing Workshops include a SLIDE NIGHT event and the first Art+Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-thon to be held in Melbourne

West Space and off-site venues

(1) SLIDE NIGHT, Tuesday 13 October, Union House, University of Melbourne

(2) Art+Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-thon, Saturday October 31, from 11 am, State Library of Victoria

(3) Echoes from London, November 7, 5 – 6pm, West Space

Event 7: AS IF: Public Art Walks – Sundays in Oct (11-1pm)

The City of Melbourne

Artist-led walks, touring selected women’s public art in the City of Melbourne, launched by Penelope Lee at her sculpture (created with Susan Hewitt) The Great Petition. Walks also led by artists Gina Kalabishis
(2014 Rick Amor Drawing Prize), Rosa Tato (Embracing Distance) & Maree Clarke (Scar: A Stolen Vision).

Event 8: AS IF: Stuck up

City of Yarra - Richmond Library, 415 Church Street, Richmond

Dates: 11th Aug – 30th Oct (Opening Thurs 20th Aug, 10am - 4pm)

Selected from the WAR image library a series of paste-ups encapsulates four decades of WAR and explores cultural notions of women making art and taking it to the streets. Curated by Miso.