CLOSED: Call for Expressions of Interest (EOIs) from artists: Statues to honour Uncle Archie Roach AM and Aunty Ruby Hunter

A colour image of Uncle Archie Roach sitting down with Aunty Ruby Hunter

Image: James Penlidis

Yarra City Arts is calling for expressions of interest from artists who are experienced in creating figurative bronze sculptures to be considered for this project.

In October, the Victorian Government announced that statues honouring the late Uncle Archie Roach AM and Aunty Ruby Hunter are to be created and installed in Fitzroy.

EOI Closing Date: 9am Monday 28 November 2022

Background

Yarra City Council acknowledges the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung people as the Traditional Owners and true sovereigns of the land now known as Yarra. We acknowledge their creator spirit Bunjil, their ancestors and their Elders. We acknowledge the strength and resilience of the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung, who have never ceded sovereignty and retain their strong connections to family, clan and Country despite the impacts of European invasion. We also acknowledge the significant contributions made by other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to life in Yarra. We pay our respects to Elders from all nations; past, present and future.

Council also acknowledges that Fitzroy and its surrounding areas are of special significance to Aboriginal peoples: as the cradle of Aboriginal affairs in Victoria; the birthplace of important Aboriginal organisations; the centre of political activism; and a place where many Stolen Generations survivors found family for the first time.

Council has a strong commitment to learning from and working in partnership with the local Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community.

Introduction

Together with the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation, Yarra City Council will commission an artist to create statues that will celebrate the lives and achievements in music and in community of Uncle Archie Roach AM and Aunty Ruby Hunter. The artwork will be installed in Fitzroy and will also pay tribute to the Stolen Generations and the area’s rich Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history.

Fitzroy is an important place for Aboriginal communities for many reasons, but importantly, it is the place where many survivors of the Stolen Generations found family for the first time. Fitzroy is the place where Archie found his brothers and sisters. It is the place where he was reunited with family and reconnected to his culture. Fitzroy ran through the veins of both Archie and Ruby, they loved the place; Fitzroy is woven through their stories and intrinsically linked to their music. Many of their iconic songs celebrate the streets of Fitzroy, and the Aboriginal heartbeat of this remarkable place.

The statues will honour Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history and culture, and the story of these two talented community leaders, who are beloved by the nation. They will also help to address the under-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in public statues, and highlight the challenges faced by Stolen Generations survivors.

Call for Expressions Of Interests (EOIs)

Yarra City Council is inviting Expressions of Interest (EOIs) from suitably qualified artists to create and produce bronze statues to honour and pay tribute to the lives and work of Uncle Archie Roach AM and Aunty Ruby Hunter to be installed in Fitzroy by the end of 2023.

The statues will be located within walking distance of The Stolen Generations Marker, Remember Me (2018) by Reko Rennie; Celebration Dreaming Mural (2017) by Robert Young (with Makatron and Heesco); Aboriginal Lives Matter Mural (2021) by Ky-ya Nicholson Ward; Delkuk Spirits (2002) by Kelly Koumalatsos; and other historically and culturally significant sites for the Aboriginal community.

In addition to your own research, you may wish to explore The Aboriginal History of Yarra.

Artwork

The size of the bronzes will be approximately 120% life-size. The modelling will be undertaken by the artist. A small maquette will be created by the artist and once approved, the artist will create the sculpture at life size for moulds to be made. If required, the sculpture’s base will also be designed by the artist, who will also coordinate its production.

Stage 1: Expressions of Interest (EOI)

An open Expression of Interest (EOI) process will be undertaken to engage an artist for the commission. Artists responding to the Expressions of Interest stage will be required to provide the following:

  • A cover letter outlining their interest in this project.
  • A resume or CV (maximum three pages).
  • Examples of, no more than ten, previous relevant artworks/projects; all labelled with the artist’s name, artwork title, the date the work was produced, the location of the work (if applicable), dimensions of the work and material/medium details.

NOTE: No fee will be provided for the Expression of Interest (EOI) stage.

Stage 2: Interviews

A selection panel will assess the Expressions of Interest and select up to five artists to meet representatives from Uncle Archie and Aunty Ruby’s families for an informal interview.

Pending selection and approval, the successful artist will work closely with the families of Uncle Archie and Aunty Ruby.

The family representatives will determine the location of the artwork/s as well as the era and indicative poses for the artwork in consultation with the artist. The family representatives will review the initial maquette and their approval will be required to progress to the next stage of the project.

A working relationship with family representatives will be an important part of the commission. The successful artist will also meet with local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community members on occasion.

Key dates

9am Monday 28 November 2022
Expressions of Interest (EOIs) close

December 2022
Artwork location preferences to be selected and confirmed by the families

December 2022
Representatives of the families meet and interview the shortlisted artists

31 January 2023
Appointment of the artist

February—September 2023
Development and fabrication of the artwork and base

September 2023
Landscape design at site

November 2023
Installation of the statues

Early December 2023
Artwork launch and event

Budget

The project is supported by the Victorian Government with funding from Creative Victoria through their Creative Activation Fund. They have supported the project with $287k. This is inclusive of funds for all stages of the project including (but not limited to): artist fees, consultation, professional services (e.g., engineering costs), materials, contractors, transport, fabrication, footings, plinth, signage, lighting, landscaping, project management, cultural consultant, installation, insurances, traffic management, the launch and all other associated costs.

Artist fee

$200,000+GST will be allocated to the artist to create and produce the work, including having it fabricated in bronze with finish and patina with a foundry.

The artist’s key responsibilities will include (but are not limited to):

  • Meetings with the families, community, project commissioners, contractors and other stakeholders throughout the process.
  • Design development research and materials.
  • Creating the small maquette and the life-sized work.
  • Working with the appointed foundry on all aspects of the production of the finished bronze.
  • Designing and coordinating the production of the sculpture’s base (if required).
  • Site meetings for preparation and installation of the artwork.
  • Other tasks as required.

Submit your EOI

Expressions of interest for this program have now closed. Thank you for your interest.

Contact information

If you have any questions please contact Karra Rees, Public Arts Officer at [email protected] or 03 9205 5404.