Catching light and image, the transformative Suffragette brings the power of the women’s movement into the present tense. Its polished and poised I-form echoes the voices of the nineteenth-century activists who fought for equality and for changes to the law giving women the rights of a ‘person’. The film of jet-black symbolises the inked signatures of 25,000 women on petitions to New Zealand's Parliament and the 90,290 who voted for the first time in 1893, demonstrating how collective human rights depend on individual acts of strength.
Also a Roman numeral for One or First, the I-form celebrates New Zealand’s leadership as the first nation granting women the vote. As a first person pronoun, it revives a second wave feminist tenet: the personal is political, and reclaims the pronoun as contemporary currency. Independent and androgynous, the toughened text asserts new ground and, in its highly reflective surface, includes every-one.
Each sculpture is signed and numbered. The edition is open in recognition that there can be no limit on the number of Suffragettes.