Julie Rrap’s series ‘Persona and Shadow’ presented an opposition to the social constructs and stereotypes that restrict the authority that women have over their body and its visual portrayal. Like massive altarpiece cycles or retables, nine large-scale prints presented constructions of photographs and paintings. The archaic definition of virago is ‘A woman of masculine strength or spirit; a female warrior’. In contemporary usage, it has a pejorative meaning: ‘a domineering, violent and bad-tempered woman’ (Oxford). In Persona and Shadow: Virago Rrap wears masculine effects and confronts the viewer not only via the gaze but by aiming her camera directly at us as she takes her own picture. Image: Julie Rrap ‘Persona and Shadow: Virago’ 1984 Colour photograph, 190.2 x 100.9cm Griffith University Art Collection. Purchased 1985 Courtesy the artist, Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney, and Arc One Gallery, Melbourne.