Emma Fitts

Aotearoa New Zealand, b.1979

Anorak for Rowena Cade

  • 2014
  • Oilskin, silk
  • Purchased 2018
  • 2470 x 1750mm
  • 2018/037

This is one of a series of large-scale abstract garments dedicated to Emma Fitts’ personal gallery of heroines, a project that restores the narratives of women and queer artists who are often left out of conventional history. Anorak for Rowena Cade acknowledges the tenacity of British builder Rowena Cade (1893–1983), who built her own house and an ambitious outdoor theatre called the Minack, carved into the granite cliffs at Porthcurno in southwest Cornwall. Cade and her helpers built the Minack theatre using hand tools, and decorated it by etching into wet concrete with a screwdriver. In this work, Fitts has combined a practical material – oilskin – with delicate silk, calling to mind the staunch yet imaginative attitude that Cade must have had.

(Jane Wallace, 2023)

Exhibition History