The 10th Melbourne Art Foundation commission, in partnership with the Art Gallery of Western Australia (AGWA) and supported by Artwork Transport and Creative Australia, was awarded to Julie Rrap, one of Australia’s most recognised female artists. 

The bronze sculptural work, SOMOS (Standing On My Own Shoulders), was unveiled at the 17th iteration of Melbourne Art Fair. Of the work, Rrap said, “While SOMOS echoes the “heroic” tradition of bronze figurative sculpture, it subverts that history by representing an older female body traditionally rendered invisible. This work strongly consolidates many of the concerns that have preoccupied me in my practice over the last 40 years and to have the opportunity to create SOMOS as a major work for this commission and the Art Gallery of Western Australia is a career highlight and one which will create an incredibly important conversation.”

Julie Rrap is widely considered to have contributed to the foundations of contemporary feminist art in Australia. Working for over four decades with a range of different mediums, Rrap’s work challenges, subverts and reinterprets the definition of women and their image in surprising ways, often using her own nude body to do so. 

SOMOS will appear in Julie Rrap: Past Contunuous at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA), before arriving at its permanent home in the AGWA collection. 

Julie Rrap, SOMOS (Standing On My Own Shoulders), 2024, cast bronze, edition 1/3, installation view. Photo: Griffin Simm. Melbourne Art Fair 2024.