Ironically, we opened the first exhibition in 2005 with a special guest, Susan Halliday, Federal Commissioner for Sex Discrimination.
Then, Susan Halliday advocated the necessity for Australian women to be, at the least, represented across our society as equally as we are so often quantified as half the population of this nation.
Concurrent to the celebration of the 15th exhibition of The Women’s show we are still facing issues of inequality on a scale that frankly infuriates.
Through an historical lens we can look back and review an artist’s life and their work with insight and compassion by acknowledging their difficulties in maintaining an artistic path, it can even colour the way we perceive them as champions against the odds or creative genius.
As I consider the artists and their work on exhibition this year, I must consider what ordeals and trauma they have endured, because of their sex and First Nation’s identity and yet, the crux is that we embrace these women artists as our nation’s hugest talent. Their deep honesty and driving commitment to making beautiful art speaks their truth. A truth that as a nation we are yet to embrace.
Australian First Nations art endures as a powerful force for that change.