Know my name – and don’t forget it

Australian organisations join global campaign to recognise women artists, starting with an all-day intervention by the National Gallery of Australia.

Image supplied courtesy National Gallery of Australia and Art Girl Rising.

#KnowMyName is a call for equal power, respect and recognition for female creators. 

The campaign aims to recognise and celebrate Australian women artists, through social media, exhibitions, research and creative collaborations. It’s an initiative of the National Gallery of Australia (NGA) that stems from a bold acknowledgement that their collection only represents women artists by 25%.

NGA Director Nick Mitzevich said: ‘It’s a simple question – can Australians name five women artists? We want to drive awareness of women who have made or are making a huge contribution to our cultural life.’

The campaign builds on the work of the National Museum for Women in the Arts in Washington D.C. which, in 2016, asked people if they could name five women artists.  

Anyone can share a story using the hashtag #KnowMyName to celebrate a creative woman.

This campaign is just the start. In acknowledging this imbalance, the Gallery will unveil a major exhibition of Australian women artists in May 2020. It has also stated that it will exclusively show female artists in the 20th century display of Australian art from May to October next year.

This coincides with the return of Angelica Mesiti’s 2019 Venice Biennale work, ASSEMBLY, which the gallery recently purchased, as well as a suite of new commissions, including a new major work by Patricia Piccinini, to be unveiled in March as part of the celebrated Balnaves Contemporary Intervention series.

The Gallery is collaborating with independent researchers The Countess Report in developing guidelines for arts organisations to achieve equality, building on the work of the National Association for the Visual Arts, the Australia Council and the Sheila Foundation for Women in Visual Art.

#KnowMyName officially kicks off Friday 24 May 2019 when the National Gallery opens for 24 hours from 10pm with pop-up bars, DJs and stories on women artists, as it joins the global initiative The24HourProject.

Art Girl Rising are also producing t-shirts with the names of Australian artists to extend awareness through the campaign, and beyond.

Read more about the Know My Name campaign on the NGA website. 

Visual Arts Writer
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