Sunday, December 2, 2012

Educating and exhibiting artists

The fact remains that twice as many female artists graduate from our art schools compared to male artists. 

Gender representation in a selection of 2011 Bachelor of Visual Art degree courses nationally
Data collected from 2011 graduation exhibition websites 
(Charles Darwin University not included as no data available)

Based on this fact you would expect to see twice the work exhibited in our public and commercial galleries and museums to be by female artists. CoUNTess has noted before how gender representation is reflected in the workplace of other female-dominated degree programs.  

Gender representation in exhibitions from a selection (one from each state) of CAOS contemporary art space galleries

Even if half of graduating female artists turned out to be unambitious or uninteresting, then you should still expect to see half of the work exhibited in our art spaces to be by female artists. Yet, it’s not like that. Instead, what is represented in most galleries is the reverse of what the graduate statistics lead us to expect.

Gender representation total in percentages of visual art graduates in 2011 and exhibiting artists in selected CAOS galleries (one selected from each state)

A third of artists exhibiting in CAOS galleries for example are women, yet women make up two thirds of art school graduates. That means that a female graduate has a much less chance of getting recognition and remuneration than a male graduate. 

CoUNTess numbers have consistently shown that women artists make up 60-65% of the artist population (the pool) yet get 33-40% of the pie, while male artists who make up 33-40% of the artist population get 60-65% of the pie.


wellywood woman said...

Brilliant! Thanks very much for this.

wellywood woman said...

Brilliant! Thanks very much for this!

Anonymous said...

These shitty stats really expose the shittiness of the unspoken gender bias in the arts.
Good on you for doing the hard work,

Anonymous said...

Who are curating CAOS-exhibitions? What is their gender balance?

Anonymous said...

these stats are both discouraging and disappointing... lucky there is no need for feminism these days...

wellywood woman said...

And now I've incorporated some of your stats into my own blog about women artists in NZ. Thanks a million!

Louise Mayhew said...

In my morning's trawl of the internet I've read both this (thanks CoUNTess) and a quote on how we inaccurately perceive the who speaks more in public space, lectures and classes. It's well documented that when a room is equally gender mixed if women in the room speak an equal number of times as men it is perceived that they speak more. I seem to remember (hopefully accurately) that it isn't perceived that men and women speak equally until the realty is that men contribute 70% of the conversation and women only 30%.

I'm sure there must be a link here, that somehow although women are represented less, and factualy we know and can count and draw graphs and make it known that they are represented less, maybe somehow it seems as though they are represented equally.

The quote is here:

I'll try to think on this and hash out a proper response sometime soon.

Anonymous said...

Hello there,

I have just discovered this blog - and it is awesome. I feel like the blinkers have come off, and now I understand what is really going on.

As (one of the lucky few, I might add) female artists showing around the usual public/ commercial traps, I can tell you, the stats you uncover bear out in my experience of the art world.

Public institutions have a responsibility to collect more female artwork - and from this, things can change, collectors be influenced, commercial galleries sign more female artists, and increase the sales of those they already have. Public institutions have a duty to lead, as no other sector in the artworld will do it - and they should be accountable for this.

Anyway, thank you for all this great work you are doing. Amazing!

Anastasia Klose

Anonymous said...

WOW! Its so great to know that Countess is out there and counting. The issue of gender representation is rarely engaged directly by galleries/institutions. In many cases it's looked at retrospectively or as someone else's issue - next time.
Thank you Countess