The Countess Report was founded by Elvis Richardson as a blog in 2008. In collaboration with Amy Prcevich and Miranda Samuels, Elvis has grown The Countess Report into a regular, comprehensive data-gathering project and the trusted data source on gender parity in Australian art.
“When I first conceived collecting and publishing data on gender representation, the idea was to present the unbalanced facts which begged the question – why so many female graduates yet so few female professional artists? A few years in, John saw what I was trying to achieve and the value of Countess and took the time to ask what help was required.
“Through research funding from Sheila we were able to conceive a much larger project. The income was crucial. It allowed me to pay for assistance and have sustained time to commit to it myself. Financial support for women in the industry is something that is really needed. “Sheila is so distinctive as they have done something different by focusing on women artists and they have made themselves special by doing so. What Sheila offers is authentic as, although the foundation is new, the concept and spirit are well established and they have runs on the board.
“For me, what I have gained from Sheila is I feel they take notice of what is needed and offer opportunities. Being heard and then helped is empowering. The times we are in have exposed once more the reliance we have as a society on artists but it also exposes the need for people to support artists. Philanthropy is important as a little goes a long way and in an artist’s life it has a real ripple effect for their communities.”