Women's Art Register Public Events

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.

Image, Against the Odds, Women in Art Forum panellists with WAR committee


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