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'Kiwi Quarter Acre', 1997

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Copyright Reproduced courtesy of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa Purchased from A Hannah, 1915
Creator Margaret Marr, artist, 1997
Identifiers Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa number GH007400 TLF resource R6467
Source Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

This is an outfit created by Margaret Marr for the Montana World of WearableArt show in Nelson, NZ, in 1997. The outfit comprises three pieces, a two-piece suit (jacket and skirt) and a hat. The jacket is made from green astroturf, with the front edges trimmed with purple, white and yellow fabric flowers. The lower edge of the jacket features a picket fence design constructed of white card and string. The skirt is made of matching green astroturf. The hat is in the form of a house and is constructed from cardboard. It is painted white and features a yellow door and eaves, purple foundations and window sills, a blue-grey corrugated-cardboard roof and a white chimney edged with purple. The jacket is 70 cm long and the skirt is 50 cm long. The hat is 41 cm wide x 40 cm high x 24 cm deep.

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This The outfit was designed by Margaret Marr, who is one of the pioneers of modern Polynesian fashion in NZ - Marr grew up in Matata near Whakatane in the Bay of Plenty in NZ's North Island and is of Maori descent (Te Arawa iwi); in 1995 she started her own retail outlet in Auckland, Whenua Fashions, which focused on Maori and Pacific garments and designs; she moved to the USA in 2001 to further her design career; she has won numerous awards for fashion design.

This outfit was designed especially for the Montana World of WearableArt (WOW) runway and awards show, which was started by Suzie Moncrieff in 1987, in Nelson in NZ's South Island - the fashion pieces shown in this event do not have to be commercially viable or practical but they do have to be wearable.

Margaret Marr's design is a great example of the core concept that underpins WOW, 'taking art off the wall and onto the moving body' - WOW has become an icon of NZ creativity and a unique and creative concept within the art world; designers can adapt any skill or medium in making their wearable art including painting, sculpture, fabric art, papier mache, dressmaking, engineering, metal working and electronics; entrants are not all professional artists, but include those who might not dream of exhibiting an artwork but become inspired to create and enter an item by the core idea of the show.

Since its inception in 1987, WOW has become an internationally recognised event that gains momentum every year - recently relocated from Nelson to NZ's capital city, Wellington, this annual show now attracts audiences of more than 30,000 people from all around the world.

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