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 13 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.

AS IF: When and now September 30 to October 30, QV Gallery, Queen Victoria Women’s Centre, 210 Lonsdale Street Closing event – Wednesday Oct 28, 4.00-5.30pm Artists from the Women’s Art Register past and present respond to the query ‘what does artmaking mean to you?’ Curated by Gail Stiffe and Rosemary Mangiamele

AS IF: small print September 30 to October 31, Mailbox Art Space, 141 Flinders Lane Opening event – Wednesday Sept 30, 6-8pm 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.

AS IF: Artmaking in tandem, Embracing Distance October 2 – 29, City Library, 253 Flinders Lane Opening event – Thursday Oct 8, 6-8pm A collaboration between artistic women who are newly settled in Melbourne and artist Rosa Tato, working with support from the North Melbourne Learning and Language Centre.

AS IF: WAR Sliders October 2 – 29, City Library, 253 Flinders Lane. Slides selected from 14,000 digitised slides in the WAR archive, on continuous loop in the entrance wall to the City Library. Curated by Sally Northfield.

AS IF: Echoes from the Women’s Art Register October 1 to November 7, West Space, Level 1/225 Bourke Street Opening event – Thursday October 1, 6-8pm A projection program of work by Australian women artists over the last 40 years of the W.A.R, including archival material and recent audio interviews. A multi-use space for listening, viewing, thinking and writing, creating links between the archives and contemporary practices. A collaborative curatorial project by Caroline Phillips, Juliette Peers and Laura Castagnini, with Emily Castle, Danielle Hakim, Stephanie Leigh and Kalinda Vary, and Holly Ingleton (UK).

AS IF: Echoing Workshops October, West Space and off-site venues (1) SLIDE NIGHT, (2) Art+Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-thon, October 31, from 11 am, State Library of Victoria (3) Echoes from London, November 7, 5 – 6pm, West Space

AS IF: Public Art Walks Sundays in October, 11-1pm, City of Melbourne. Four artist-led walks touring selected women’s public art in the City of Melbourne. Walk 1: Launched by Penelope Lee at her sculpture (created with Susan Hewitt) The Great Petition, Walk 2 led by Gina Kalabishis (2014 Rick Amor Drawing Prize), Walk 3 by Rosa Tato (Embracing Distance) & Walk 4 with Maree Clarke (Scar: A Stolen Vision).

AS IF: Stuck up August 11 to October 30, Richmond Library, 415 Church Street Open day, Thursday August 20, 10am-4pm Selected from the archives, a series of paste-ups encapsulates four decades of the Women’s Art Register and explores cultural notions of women making art and taking it to the streets. Curated by Miso.


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