Women's Art Register Public Events

2020 Art+Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-thon, Great Hall, National Gallery of Victoria

On March 8, 2020 - International Women's Day - we joined forces, once again, with our friends at Wikimedia Australia and WikiD: women, Wikipedia, design, to host our annual Art+Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-thon.

As one of the most popular websites in the world, and the first point of call for many young people, it is important to make sure women artists are represented on Wikipedia. This is our 5th wikithon, continuing our goals to build a strong community of editors, enhance our archive and share the knowledge of the Women's Art Register. As part of the special collaborative program with the National Gallery of Australia's #knowmyname campaign, there were 7 Edit-a-thons around Australia.  Supported by the National Gallery of Victory, our event topped the national list of editors, words and new articles created.

Our group of 33 editors - artists, librarians, academics, curators, designers, architects and WAR members - generated substantial results:

25 Articles Created, 138 Articles Edited,  462 Total Edits, 33 Editors, 44K Words Added, 364 References Added

Documentation by Caroline Phillips


2019/20  Re-Register: Australian Women Sculptors from the Women’s Art Register by Julia Boros, Artist-In-Residence 

Re-Register: Australian Women Sculptors from the Women’s Art Register is the inaugural Women's Art Register Artist-In-Residence program. During her residency, artist Julia Boros explored the 1978 Women’s Art Register research project: Profile of Australian Women Sculptors 1860-1960, by Bonita Ely and Anna Sande. This collection of photographs, slide kit and publication was shown at the Seventh Mildura Sculpture Triennial, in response to the lack of representation of women artists.

Julia reinterpreted the material from this collection through screen printing, creating works with textiles and on paper. The project included exhibitions of Julia's work at Richmond Town Hall and Richmond Library, including archival displays and a substantial catalogue publication - designed by Sahra Martin - with commissioned essays by the artist, Anna Sande, Bonita Ely and Katve-Kaisa Kontturi. 

This project was supported by a City of Yarra Annual Grant and the City of Yarra Exhibition Program.

Documentation by Tim Gresham.



2019 From the W.A.R. Files - City Library Display

From July to December 2019, we display a rotating selection of archival material from the Women's Art Register, curated by Juliette Peers, Caroline Phillips and Leia Alex. Items included a display of Women's Art Register Bulletin, The Profile of Australian Women Sculptors - 1860 to 1960, the 2017 Membership Drive poster designs and a selection of international feminist magazines, from the Ailsa O'Connor Collection.

Thanks to Melbourne City Libraries for their support.


2019 - Winter Wiki

As the largest general reference work on the internet, Wikipedia is hugely popular. But did you know that less than 10% of the editors on Wikipedia are women, and only 17% of Wikipedia biographies are about women? Therefore it goes without saying that women artists are vastly under-represented in Wikipedia content. The Women's Art Register works to improve coverage about women artists both online and with our Hard Copy Archive at Richmond Library. Due to popular demand, we partnered once again with Wikimedia Australia and #WikiD for our Winter Wiki, to amplify the voices of Australian women artists and designers.

23 Articles Created, 262 Articles Edited, 1.22K Total Edits, 13 Editors, 75.6K Words Added, 117 References Added



2019 - Art+Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-thon

This year, for our third Art+Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-thon, we joined forces with #WikiD

WikiD: women, Wikipedia, design is an international education and advocacy program to increase the representation of women in the built environment on Wikipedia. This collaborative project between Parlour, Architexx (New York) and n-ails (Berlin) has seed funding from the Wikimedia Foundation.

We are proud of our results for the day's work:

14 Articles Created, 55 Articles Edited, 279 Total Edits

14 Editors, 23.6K Words Added, 163K Article Views

We thank Wikimedia Australia for facilitating this session,

and the Richmond & Burnley Historical Society for the use of their rooms.

2018 - The Great Divide: feminist art practice across generations and geography - a MEL&NYC live discussion event and zine poster project.

The Great Divide: feminist art practice across generations and geography - a MEL&NYC live discussion event and zine poster project.

Coinciding with the 2018 Melbourne Winter Masterpieces exhibition presented by the National Gallery of Victoria, MoMA at NGV: 130 Years of Modern and Contemporary Art, an extensive program of events was presented by leading Melbourne organisations and communities exploring culture, politics, business and the everyday experience as seen through the eyes of New Yorkers and Australians.

The Women’s Art Register (MEL) and (RE)Present (NYC) connected in an Intergenerational dialogue and a collaborative feminist zine poster. A live, interactive session at the Richmond Theatrette on August 11 addressed the need to communicate more broadly with each other about our different ages and experience as feminists and artists. Speakers included Vanessa Godden, Tassia Joannides, Juliette Peers and Caroline Phillips from the Women’s Art Register, in conversation with Nancy Azara, Rachel Steiberg and Emily Harris from (RE)Present.

(RE)Present is a non-hierarchical round table meeting based on the 1970’s feminist movement derived consciousness raising circle, and designed to foster a broad dialogue across generations of artists interested in contemporary feminist concerns. (RE)Present grew out of a call for artists and others who had participated in the New York Feminist Art Institute (1979-1990).  

(RE)Present: What do we want from feminism and how can we achieve it? Continuing in the tradition of the New York Feminist Art Institute, NYFAI (1979-1990).

The poster zine, designed by Lisa Mansfield, was generated via an online call for responses to the question “What’s Your Feminism?” (image also designed by Lisa Mansfield). Selected drawings were meshed with text from RE/PResent in a collaborative response. Our poster was pasted at 100 locations in inner Melbourne, and distributed in NYC to members of the (RE)Present collective. We were contacted by the Jessie Street Women’s Library who were interested in including our poster in their collection, so we donated one copy to their archive in Sydney. FARC (QLD), a new feminist collective, were inspired by our poster and then created their own workshop based on our theme of “What’s Your Feminism”, acknowledging the support of WAR and the MEL&NYC project.

MEL&NYC was generously supported by the Victorian Government.

2018 - Natalie Thomas and the Women’s Art Register - Finding the Field  

Natalie Thomas and the Women’s Art Register - Finding the Field was a collaborative exhibition with Nathalie Thomas (creator of nattysolo.com) at True Estate, Brunswick, in April 2018. Nat responded to the contentious re-staging of the NGV’s 1968 exhibition, The Field, in The Field Revisited, at the NGV in 2018. She created works on paper visualising her response, as well as screening a slide show of women’s art from the collection of the Women’s Art Register. Caroline Phillips joined Nat In Conversation for the public program.

Natalie Thomas talking with Caroline Phillips, WAR Secretary, at True Estate, Brunswick.

2018 - WAR Stories: Women's Art Register at The Roundtable

As part of the exhibition Unfinished Business at the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA), a group discussion considered a number of questions: 

What is the 'Unfinished Business' of the Women's Art Register? 

Is the Women's Art Register undervalued and under-recognised by major institutions? 

How can we (re)position the Women's Art Register's unique place in Australia's history as a critical force in contemporary politics and culture? 

In what ways are the Women's Art Register's unique open access policies and grass-roots management indicative of the collaborative and participatory nature of past and present feminist practices? 

How does the cross-generational collection represented by the Women's Art Register contribute new insights into current mainstream discourses that, at times, overlook the historical record? 

Drawing by Carmel O'Connor 

2018 - Conspicuous Presence, Trocadero Artspace, guest curator program

Conspicuous Presence makes visible the work of five Australian women artists, all Women of Colour. Through the heightened material presence of their work, the artists’ deploy conspicuous methods of commanding our attention; accentuating materiality, embracing a highly charged and embodied physicality, and gleaning our sensory reactions through their processes of making.

The contemporary politics of feminist art demand that Women of Colour are given a platform. The Women’s Art Register, historically inclusive of a wide range of cultural and political identities, shares this special IWD platform with these contemporary artists, who materialise their powerful identities and intersectional experiences through their materially charged practices. Conspicuous Presence recognises their visibility, acknowledges their presence and respects their voices.

Artists: Sofi Basseghi (Iran/Australia), Georgia MacGuire (Indigenous Australia), Ema Shin (Japan/Australia),

Khi-Lee Thorpe (Indigenous Australia), Su Yang (China/Australia)

Other gallery spaces at Trocadero Artspace displayed archival material from the Women's Art Register, from 1975 to the present, including a projection program. 

Supported by Trocadero Artspace Guest Curator Program and the City of Maribyrnong

Image: Khi-Lee Thorpe, Unseeable, Mixed Media on Board, 2017

The public program for Conspicuous Presence included an Art+Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-thon, facilitated by Pru Mitchel, President of Wikimedia Australia.

2017 - Against the Odds: Women in Art Forum 

Against the Odds: Women in Art Forum brought together a diverse and cross-generational range of local women artists to explore issues of place, community, gender and practice within contemporary art. Themes for discussion included the challenges of establishing a career as a woman artist, and changing Australian demographics and evolving cultural communities as drivers of art practice and experience. The program included panel discussions, question time and our special feminist souk. Special guests included The Social Studio, Melbourne Artists for Asylum Seekers, Sisterworks, Triple F Collective, Kim Donaldson, Nat Thomas, CoUNTess, Kate Just, Dianne Beevers and Elizabeth Gertsakis.

Held at the Richmond Theatrette, October 14, 2017.

Supported by the City of Yarra.

Images, Against the Odds, Women in Art Forum, photos by Veronica Caven Aldous

1) All the day's panellists with WAR committee

2) l-r Nat Thomas, Kate Just, Elvis Richardson, Kim Donaldson during their panel.


A film fundraiser focusing on films by and about Australian women and artists, rediscovering forgotten feminist flicks.

Held at Long Play Cinema and Bar, North Fitzroy on November 15, 2016.

We Aim to Please – Robin Laurie & Margot Nash (1976)

An experimental short film about female sexuality that not only touches the areas of paranoia, fear and doubt, which women can experience in relation to their bodies and physical self image, but which is also joyful, erotic and funny.

Film courtesy As If Productions...

Girl in a Mirror: A Portrait of Carol Jerrems – Kathy Drayton (2005)
Girl in a Mirror is a documentary about Australian photographer and filmmaker Carol Jerrems (1949-1980). 
Featuring interviews with colleagues and friends the film details her life and pioneering artwork which she continued to make up until her untimely death.
Film courtesy Kathy Drayton & Helen Bowden

Sexy Girls,Sexy Appliances –Emma-Kate Crogan (1991)
This satirical and funny short 16mm exercise plays with the idea of product-porn, as sold to the ‘perfect housewife’ of the 1950s and 60s. Sexy Girls, Sexy Appliances, speaks directly to a historically distinctive period of second wave feminism exploring ways to reclaim historically debasing visual and social representations of women. 
Film courtesy of VCA Film & Television School

Nice Coloured Girls – Tracey Moffatt (1987)
Nice Coloured Girls is an experimental short film about colonialism and the relationship between white men and Indigenous Australian women. Past and present day narratives intertwine as we see Aboriginal women exploiting a white man while voice overs narrate the diaries of early settlers, although the women are silent in the film they are given a voice through subtitling. The film interrogates dominant representations of Australian history and depicts these women as powerful survivors despite their oppression and silencing. 
Film courtesy of the artist and Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney.

Image:FFF Flicks screening of Girl in a Mirror, a portrait of Carol Jerrems, by Kathy Drayton (2005)

2015 - AS IF: 40 years and beyond - Celebrating the Women’s Art Register

To celebrate 40 years of persisting and insisting that women’s art matters, the Women's Art Regsiter hosted a curated mini-festival of women’s artmaking at a range of venues around Melbourne in October 2015.

The program was awarded the Best Visual Arts Event at the 2015 Melbourne Fringe Festival.

Produced by Sally Northfield, the programs were curated by a range of guest curators and members of the Women's Art Register committee.

Supported by the City of Yarra, the City of Melbourne and the Melbourne Fringe Festival 

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

Queen Victoria Women’s Centre Gallery

45-50 artists responded to the query ‘what does artmaking mean to you?’ 

Curated by Gail Stiffe and Rosemary Mangiamele.

AS IF: small print

Mailbox Art Space, - 141 Flinders Lane, Melbourne

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.

 AS IF: Artmaking in tandem: Embracing Distance

 City Library 

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

 AS IF: WAR Sliders

City Library  

A selection of  the  8,000 digitised slides in the WAR archive

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

West Space 

A curated projection program of work by Australian women artists over the last 40 years of the Women's Art Register, including archivalmaterial  and recent audio interviews. A multi-use space for  listening,  viewing,  thinking and writing,  creating linksbetween the archives and contemporary practices. 

Curated by Caroline Phillips, Juliette Peers and Stephanie Leigh, with Emily Castle, Danielle Hakim and Kalinda Vary.

AS IF: Echoing Workshops  included a SLIDE NIGHT event at Union House, University of Melbourne, the performance event As IF: Echoes from London at West Space and the first Art+Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-thon to be held in Melbourne

SLIDE NIGHT is an experimental project that showcases slides presented by invited artists within a slide night format.  Slide Night: WAR was facilitated by Clare Rae, Ross Coulter, Danica Chappell and Danielle Hakim and inlcuded speakers/artists Ross Coulter, Eleanor Butt, Anne Marsh, Elizabeth Gower, Danielle Hakim, Jill Orr and Clare Rae.

As IF: Echoes from London, curated by Laura Castagnini. Makiko Yamamoto, Sanja Pahoki and Eric Demetriou performed the live sound piece ‘Our Word is Our Bond’, conceived by London based artist Holly Ingleton.  

AS IF: Public Art Walks 

Various Melbourne sites

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, Rosa Tato & Maree Clarke.

AS IF: Stuck up

Richmond Library 

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.


Images - AS IF: Echoes of the Women's Art Register, West Space, Melbourne. Installation view and projection view of Victory Speech, 2013, by Kalinda Vary. Photos by Christo Crocker, courtesy of West Space