Women's Art Register
Australia’s living archive of women’s art practice.
Caroline Phillips is the current Secretary of the Women’s Art Register, overseeing the Collection Management and collaborating with the leadership team and general volunteers on a number of projects, including Art+Feminism Edit-a-thons, curatorial projects and participatory public programming.
The Women’s Art Register (WAR) is Australia’s living archive of women’s art practice (cis, non-binary and trans inclusive) and a national, artist-run and not-for-profit community and resource. Assessed as a ‘Collection of National Significance’ through the Heritage Collections Council in 2009, this unique archive houses the images, catalogues, posters and ephemera of over 5000 Australian and International artists.
Since 1975 the WAR has provided an inclusive, independent platform for research, education, advocacy and support for its members and the Arts, Education and GLAM sectors, enhancing the status of women artists and addressing issues of equity, professional practice and cultural heritage.
2020 Art+Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-thon
8 March // National Gallery of Victoria
On International Women's Day WAR joined forces once again with our friends at Wikimedia Australia and WikiD to host our annual Art+Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-thon. Part of a collaborative program with the National Gallery of Australia's #knowmyname campaign, there were seven Edit-a-thons around Australia.
Supported by the NGV, WAR's 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.
Exhibition + Edit-a-thon // 21 February–10 March 2018 // Trocadero Artspace
WAR collaborative curatorial project including an Art+Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-thon. Conspicuous Presence makes visible the work of five Australian Women Artists 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.
WAR, historically inclusive of a wide range of cultural and political identities, shares this special International Women’s Day platform with these five contemporary artists who make known their powerful identities and intersectional experiences through their materially charged practices. Conspicuous Presence recognises their visibility, acknowledges their presence and respects their voices.
Co-curated for WAR by Caroline Phillips and Juliette Peers for Trocadero’s Guest Curator Program for International Women’s Day 2018
Sofi Basseghi, Georgia MacGuire, Ema Shin, Khi-Lee Thorpe, and Su Yang.
The Great Divide: Feminist Art Practice across Generations and Geography
MEL&NYC live discussion event + zine poster project // August 2018
As part of MoMA at NGV: 130 Years of Modern and Contemporary Art, National Gallery of Victoria, 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. WAR (MEL) and (RE)Present (NYC) connected in an intergenerational dialogue and a collaborative feminist zine poster.
An interactive session at the Richmond Theatrette on 11 August 2018 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 WAR, in conversation with Nancy Azara, Rachel Steiberg and Emily Harris from (RE)Present.
POSTER / ZINE
Responses to our online call-out asking 'What’s Your Feminism?' were meshed with text from RE/PResent (NYC) to create a collaborative Poster Zine (designed by Lisa Mansfield). This was pasted up in 100 locations across inner Melbourne and distributed in New York to members of the (RE)Present collective. The poster is part of the the Jessie Street Women’s Library (Sydney) collection; FARC (QLD), a new feminist collective, were inspired by our poster and created their own workshop based our 'What’s Your Feminism' theme.
MEL&NYC was generously supported by the Victorian Government.
AS IF: Echoes from the Women's Art Register
Exhibition + Events // 2 October–2 November 2014 // West Space
AS IF: Echoes was a collaborative project showcasing the depth and quality of Australian women artists held in the Women’s Art Register. Curated by Juliette Peers, Caroline Phillips and Stephanie Leigh, a projection program was installed at West Space alongside posters and audio interviews with prominent Australian women artists. The galleries became a multi-use space for listening, viewing, thinking and writing—creating links between the archives and contemporary practices.
AS IF: Echoes was part of the larger program curated by Sally Northfield for AS IF: 40 years and beyond—Celebrating the Women’s Art Register, a program of 13 visual art events across Melbourne and winner of the Best Visual Art Event at the 2015 Melbourne Fringe Festival.
SELECT PUBLIC PROGRAMS
AS IF: Slide Night // 13 October 2014, 6–8.30pm
Drawing on the immense collection of over 20,000 images WAR has collated since 1975, Slide Night displaying over 400 slides and included speakers/artists Ross Coulter, Eleanor Butt, Anne Marsh, Elizabeth Gower, Danielle Hakim, Jill Orr and Clare Rae.
AS IF: Art+Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-thon // 31 October 2014, 11am–4pm
Art+Feminism is a campaign to improve coverage of women and the arts on Wikipedia, and to encourage female editorship. The first Edit-a-thon was held in New York City in 2014 and since then over one hundred events have been held globally. Through a collaborative process of learning and support, feminist communities around the world are filling in the gaps, writing new histories and sharing new knowledge. This event was the first Art+Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-thon held in Melbourne. Facilitators: Caroline Phillips and Juliette Peers.
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Contemporary Art & Feminism