The 2022 Countess Report

Sat 11 May 2024

Above: Countess Report 2022, The Token.
Sat 11 May 2024, 1:30pm - 2:30pm
43–51 Cowper Wharf Roadway
Woolloomooloo NSW 2011
Sydney Australia

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The 2022 Countess Report co-editors Miranda Samuels and Shevaun Wright will present and unpack the methodology and data collection process and analysis from the new report, seeking feedback and discussion with the general public, artists and arts workers, curators, gallery and museum directors, board members and art collectors. 

The 2022 Countess Report is here, (www.countess.report) our third sector wide national report on gender representation in the Australian art sector co-edited by Miranda Samuels and Shevaun Wright. We have counted gallery and museum exhibition data from the calendar year of 2022, totalling approximately 22,000 artists across more than 450 institutions. We conducted the first national count of First Nations artist representation across the gallery sector. In addition to data on representation of artists in the commercial gallery sector, we also utilised for the first time collection acquisition data provided directly to us by the eight state and territory galleries, allowing us to investigate how artworks enter collections.

 We share a belief that numbers cannot capture the breadth of issues and concerns our research pertains to. Findings from our previous two reports, which analysed data from 2014 and 2018 respectively, 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.  

The 2022 report was hence designed with 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. A focus only on representation can also obscure crucial concerns in the industry, including matters of exploitation and financial inequality. The report aims to not only hold arts institutions accountable to their representational claims and ongoing diversity strategies, but to contribute to and, at times, challenge existing research and reportage around value, gender, race, and class in the Australian art sector. 

The Report has drawn on the expertise of numerous advisors and consultants from across the sector and with financial support from the Sheila Foundation, the Copyright Agency, and the Australia Council for the Arts.

The 2022 Countess Report project has been assisted by the Australian Government through Creative Australia, its principal arts investment and advisory body. The 2022 Countess Report has also been assisted through funding by the Sheila Foundation, Copyright Agency Cultural Fund, and marketing support by National Association for the Visual Arts.