Bomber Jacket for Marilyn Waring 
Emma Fitts
FrontBox: 20 November – 17 December 2014

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Emma Fitts, work in progress, 2014.

This work began life as a blog*, set up by the artist (with her collaborator Amelia Bywater, as Victor & Hester) as a place to gather research on three women: Marlow Moss (UK), Rowena Cade (UK) and Marilyn Waring (NZ). Rather than trace and rehearse the already recorded biographies of Moss, Cade and Waring, Fitts was interested to consider the relative lack of information as a starting place for a parallel research project, ultimately making works for, rather than about these women.

The works are made from found silk, pieced together like garment patterns and hung like banners. The bomber jacket, originally designed for pilots flying open cockpit planes, is made for Marilyn Waring, Professor of Public Policy at AUT. At 23, Waring was New Zealand’s youngest MP in 1975. Her book If Women Counted (1988) contributed significantly to the development of feminist economics as an academic discipline, and she has recently published a curriculum on gender and economics for the UN Development Programme.    

The work here takes its cue from Victor & Hester’s ongoing collaboration: a mainly immaterial practice that considers language, sociability and working processes. Live events, an online journal and occasional print publications are adopted as temporary social spaces, and as sites to think through labour, documentation and distribution. 

Fitts is the current Olivia Spencer Bower Resident in Christchurch. This series of fabric works also includes Fishing Vest Pockets for Olivia Spencer Bower, Anorak for Rowena CadeSports Jacket for Marlow Moss is currently at the Physics Room Gallery in Christchurch (25 October – 7 December). A related work, Bomber Jacket for Marilyn Waring: Glossary terms A and C will feature in the December issue of Un magazine


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