2024 Countess Report

Edited by Miranda Samuels and Shevaun Wright

The 2024 Countess Report is a major independent research project that will analyse and publish data on gender representation and related issues in the Australian visual arts sector. It forms part of Countess’s periodic collection and analysis of data, and will update and compare statistics from the prior Countess Reports (published 2019; 2016).

The Report will investigate how power and prestige is consolidated in the Australian visual arts sector by analysing recent trends in the representation of women and gender diverse artists across the industry. It will build on previous reports by expanding the purview of research and our methodology.

Findings from our previous two reports have been widely cited and circulated, and while we welcome the broad use of our research, we also understand that our findings in the form of aggregated data run the risk of oversimplifying complex historical and political dynamics affecting the industry. Put simply, the new report aims to build a clearer picture of the structures and frameworks that govern artistic production and legitimation in the Australian contemporary art world.

The Report will involve greater consideration of the influence of political-economic structures and frameworks like settler-colonialism on the constitution of artistic merit and legitimation in the Australian contemporary art world. It will do this by:

︎︎︎Expanding the remit of the report to involve greater discussion of factors such as the education and age of artists in conjunction with data on representation

︎︎︎Analysing patterns on the representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists across the sector

︎︎︎Assessing the impact of gender equity focussed campaigns run by state art
institutions over the past four years by looking at data on issues such as
collection acquisition modes in addition to representational issues.

The Report is being co-authored by Miranda Samuels and Shevaun Wright. Informed by the expertise of a network of  artists, artworkers, writers and academics, as well as previous report authors Elvis Richardson and Amy Prcevich acting as project advisors.

2024 Countess Report to be launched in Feb 2024.

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