JANIS is a project focusing on female art practice. JANIS promotes curatorial, writing and art projects by women. JANIS will contribute to ways of discussing and viewing female art practice. JANIS is dedicated to enabling female voices to be heard a little louder and to take up more space in the artworld, and subsequently, in the annuls of art history. The CoUNTess trawled up the facts of inequity in the arts. JANIS is just one small way to contribute to this imbalance.


“Sentences that are about women and objects are, depressingly, all too often in existence because there is a need to consider all kinds of ways in which the former get treated like the later. Not so in this latest instalment of JANIS, a project designed and dedicated to supporting people in the arts of the strong-voiced female kind, that launched in February this year…”  Bethany Small, The Thousands, July 2013


“As to why the project has been given the name of singer songwriter Janis Joplin – Doley says, “She was uninhibited and took up a lot of space. And as women, I think we all need to take up more space in our own individual ways.” Female-specific exhibitions and initiatives might be seen to be endorsing a gender divide, but their value and necessity lies in their ability to reaffirm the importance of women’s contribution to art in the past, the present and moving forward into the future.”

Sammy Preston, Broadsheet, July 2013


“You’d be forgiven for thinking that feminism has stalled. Robin Thicke’s devastatingly catchy song Blurred Lines, which glamorises sexual violence towards women, has sold well over a million copies worldwide; women still aren’t being paid as much as their male counterparts; and even the Deputy PM agrees that Australia’s treatment of its first female P.M. was deeply disturbing. Cue JANIS, an ongoing initiative dedicated to promoting the work of female artists, curators and writers.” Rebecca Speer, Concrete Playground, July 2013


My PechaKucha on JANIS as part of MGNSW Art Chat night on Art and Power August 2014:



JANIS II, 26 July – 17 August 2013

The Commercial and MCLEMOI Gallery, Sydney

JANIS_INVITE_press_WEBJANIS II was co-curated by Kelly Doley and Amanda Rowell included a diverse range of painting, sculpture and performance from emerging and mid-career artists as well as two deceased artists. JANIS II artists included Bonita Bub, Jenny Christmann, Sarah Goffman, Gail Haistings and Sarah Rodigari. 780_650_r_2f65b23a841035a86431f22e8647fff6Jenny Christmann, [no title], 1988-1992, acrylic on carved and cast plaster, plastic figure. Photo: Jessica Maurer mclemoi_gallery_art_work_janis_ii_grandeSarah Goffman, 2013, installation view JANIS II, MCLEMOI Gallery A publication accompanied the exhibition that includes short written contributions from a wide range of female writers from diverse professional backgrounds including Sue Cato, Louise Doyle, Anne Marsh, Chris Kraus and Anna Waldmann to name a few. JANIS BOOK JANIS BOOK2 JANIS BOOK3 JANIS II points to women artists of the past, present and future and is born from the co-operative efforts of a range of female-run art organisations and professionals.

“The efforts of the curators to create a sense of identity and purpose for contemporary female artists that also looks back to the history of feminism has produced a palpable wave through the Sydney art world. People are talking about the show: debating its ambitions and potential outcomes.”

Andrew Frost, The Guardian, 31 July 2013

The Commercial pics here… MCLEMOI pics here…                                                               


The first JANIS exhibition, JANIS I was held at Alaska Projects from 6-24 February.

JANIS I exhibited the work of: Sarah Contos, Kelly Doley, Hannah Furmage, Zoe Robertson, Marian Tubbs and Justene Williams. Alongside the exhibition a publication featured the writing of Diana Smith and Amanda Rowell.

You can download it here: Janis_Final_v7

IMG_0800Kelly Doley, Political Slogan #3 and Empties, installation view. Photo: Jessica Maurer

JANIS_opening_loresJANIS #1 opening. Photo: Kate Blackmore

L-_JM_Janis_IMG_0857Hannah Furmage, God Forgives, Outlaws Don’t, live performance. Photo: Jessica Maurer

L-_JM_Janis_IMG_0861Hannah Furmage, God Forgives, Outlaws Don’t, live performance. Photo: Jessica Maurer

JANIS_opening_lores_4JANIS_opening_lores_2JANIS #1 opening. Photo: Kate Blackmore

L-_JM_Janis_IMG_0869Justene Williams, Total Man Hours 722,784, performance installation. Photo: Jessica Maurer

L-_JM_Janis_IMG_0876Justene Williams, Total Man Hours 722,784, performance installation. Photo: Jessica Maurer

L-_JM_Janis_IMG_0884Justene Williams, Total Man Hours 722,784, performance installation. Photo: Jessica Maurer

JusteneWilliams_TotalManHours722784_2013_2_loresJustene Williams, Total Man Hours 722,784, performance installation. Photo: Kate Blackmore

JusteneWilliams_TotalManHours722784_2013_3_loresJustene Williams, Total Man Hours 722,784, performance installation. Photo: Kate Blackmore

IMG_0849Installation view, Marian Tubbs Phantasm, Strength as Insecurity and Sarah Contos, Motorhead. Photo: Jessica Maurer

IMG_0850Installation view, Kelly Doley Political Slogan 1 & 2, Marian Tubbs Phantasm, Strength as Insecurity. Photo: Jessica Maurer

L-_JM_Janis_IMG_0827Sarah Contos, Motorhead, 2013. Photo: Jessica Maurer

L-_JM_Janis_IMG_0821Kelly Doley, Political Slogan #1, 2012. Photo: Jessica Maurer

IMG_0845Marian Tubbs, Phantasm, Strength as an Insecurity, Piece 1, 2013. Photo: Jessica Maurer

IMG_0842Marian Tubbs, Phantasm, Strength as an Insecurity, Piece 2, 2013. Photo: Jessica Maurer

IMG_0824Kelly Doley Political Slogan #2, 2012. Photo: Jessica Maurer

JANISopening_2013_3_loresJANISopening_2013_2_loresJANISopening2013_loreJANIS #1 opening. Photo: Kate Blackmore

IMG_4177_loresZoe Robertson, Mercury, live performance and installation. Photo: Kate Blackmore

IMG_4178_loresZoe Robertson, Mercury, live performance and installation. Photo: Kate Blackmore

IMG_4179_loresZoe Robertson, Mercury, live performance and installation. Photo: Kate Blackmore

IMG_4192_loresZoe Robertson, Mercury, live performance and installation. Photo: Kate Blackmore


JANIS #1 opening. Photo: Kate Blackmore


JANIS Panel #1

BC_MassAction_2012_web The first JANIS panel was held at Artspace as part of Art Month on Saturday 23 March. Titled Feminism in Contemporary Art: If Not Why Not?

“…I’d have better luck if I’d just called myself a “feminist” but I just couldn’t do it…Why should women settle to think and talk about just femaleness when men were constantly transcending gender?” ‘Aliens and Anorexia’, Chris Kraus, 2000, pg. 82

In light of recent discussions regarding feminism in contemporary art practice or lack thereof, this discussion panel will bring together an inter generational selection of artists, curators and academics to talk out the misconceptions, meanings and relevance of feminism in contemporary art. Contemporarily speaking there is no definable entity of feminist art marked by its stylistic features or content. What then makes contemporary art feminist? Is this demarcating of what art is or isn’t feminist redundant? Female artists consistently have their work read in light of their gender. Is this OK? What does this mean for feminism if gender concerns are assumed in work made by females?  Is active dialogue about feminism in contemporary art important and if not, does this demarcate a generational shift? Further, where does the power and agency lie in making feminist art, for the female artists and the institutions that support it?

Panelists included: Julie Rrap, Catriona Moore, Natalya Highes, Anna Davis and Jess Olivieri.

Video of the talk here

Link to Twitter feed and Art Month here

Image credit: Brown Council, Mass Action: 137 Cakes in 90 Hours, 2012, Image courtesy of the artists, Photo: Pia van Gelder

IMG_2054 IMG_2061 IMG_2048 Julie Rrap has been a major figure in Australian contemporary art for over 25 years. Since the mid-1970s, she has worked with photography, painting, sculpture, performance and video in an ongoing project concerned with representations of the body. Her work has been selected for numerous international and national exhibitions. She currently exhibits with Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney and Arc 1 Gallery, Melbourne. More info Catriona Moore received her PhD in Art History Theory from the University of Sydney where she now lectures in modern and contemporary art . She has written extensively on women and art from a feminist perspective, including Indecent Exposures: Australian Feminist Photography 1970-1990 and Editor of Dissonance: Twenty Years of Australian Feminist Art Writing. More info Natalya Hughes is an Australian artist based in Sydney. She works mainly in painting and digital media. Her work has been exhibited in numerous group shows nationally and internationally. Natalya completed her BFA at the Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane in 2001 and a PhD in Art Theory at the College of Fine Art (UNSW) in 2009. She is represented by Milani Gallery, Brisbane and The Commercial, Sydney. More info Anna Davis is a Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney. She has curated many significant projects there since 2010. Anna has a special interest in ephemeral, participatory and media art practices and her writing in this area has been published in a range of publications. She has a PhD in Media Arts from COFA and her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally. More info Jess Olivieri creates work that spans performance, sound, video, dance and installation and her practice is concerned with the social and cultural factors that influence how we inhabit space. Jess is co-founder of the collaboration Parachutes for Ladies who have shown at numerous international and national exhibitions and festivals. More info                                     


About these ads

One thought on “JANIS

  1. Pingback: Feminism in Contemporary Art: If Not Why Not? | Contemporary Art and Feminism

Comments are closed.