Know My Name celebrates the work of women artists and aims to enhance understanding of the contributions they have made and continue to make to Australia’s cultural life. This project and exhibition heralds a new chapter for the Gallery in addressing historical gender bias and reconsidering the many stories of Australian art through the lens of women’s practices.

Women artists remain underrepresented in Australian collections, exhibitions and histories and only 25% of the Gallery’s Australian art collection is by women. Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander women represent 33% of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art collection. The Gallery is working to redress this imbalance through the various Know My Name projects, future acquisitions and programming.

Tells a new story of Australian art. Showcasing art made by women, the exhibition looks to moments in which women led progressive practices to create new forms of art and cultural commentary. Revealing creative and intellectual relationships between artists through time, Know My Name proposes alternative histories while enriching known ones.

Read more about the Know My Name initiative.

Dulcie Greeno, Pakana people, Shell necklace (detail), 1998, Maireener shell (Phasianotrochus irisodontes) on polyester cotton thread, 195 cm diameter, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, purchased 1998

DI$COUNT UNIVER$E (fashion house), 'I am not sorry, I am not for sale, I am not for reproduction', embellished slip, 2018, from the 2019 Spring collection WOMEN, gift of the artists 2020, image courtesy of the artists

Fiona Foley, Badtjala people, Badtjala Woman, 1994, chromogenic photograph, 45 x 35 cm, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, purchased 2009 © Fiona Foley

Jan Nelson, Walking in tall grass, Shelby 2, 2011, oil on linen, 79 x 56 cm, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, Warwick and Jane Flecknoe Bequest Fund 2015 © Jan Nelson/Copyright Agency

Robyn Stacey, Untitled (Girl in blond wig on floor), 1985, silver dye bleach print, 78.2 x 57.8 cm, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, Gift of the artist 2018. Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program


  • Can you name five women artists from memory? Try asking a friend or family member – can they name five women artists? Know My Name is part of a global movement to increase representation of women artists. It builds on the work of groups supporting gender equity across the arts including The Countess Report, Sheila Foundation and the #5WomenArtists campaign by the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, DC.
  • Read The Countess Report overview on page 15 of the Gallery’s Know My Name issue of Artonview and discuss the points that you think are positive, negative and interesting. The Countess Report is an independent artist-run initiative that publishes data on gender representation in the Australian contemporary art world. Take a look at the 2019 Countess Report to see the most recent national data.
  • Explore a selection of works by Australian women artists in the National Gallery of Australia’s Collection. Note down five artists whose work you are particularly drawn to, or curious to learn more about. Choose one artist to research in depth. Pair with a classmate and share some examples of the artist’s work. Discuss what you have learnt about the artist and their inspirations as well as any questions you still have.


  • Devise and make your own creative strategy to help people to learn, remember and share the names of Australian women artists, for example you could design a boardgame or write a song.
  • Create a work of art that pays tribute to the Australian woman artist of your choice. Rather than copying their work, think about what subjects interest the artist and what visual conventions stand out in their work. For example, if you are drawn to an artist whose portraits tell stories through expressive use of colour, line and text, try using these elements to create a portrait of someone that you care about.

Alice Hinton-Bateup, Kamilaroi/Wonnarua peoples, Ruth’s story, 1988