Portrait of a Textile Worker


Art quilt project by Terese Agnew:


Portrait of a Textile Worker
makes one person among millions of unseen workers visible. Her image was constructed with thirty thousand clothing labels stitched together over two years. The idea came from a simple observation. One day while shopping in a department store I noticed huge signs everywhere — Calvin Klein, Liz Claiborne, Kathy Lee and so on. They were all proper names. I’d recently met two garment workers and realized that by contrast, their identity was rarely thought of and often deliberately hidden. That anonymity could be undone by assembling a view of one worker using the well-known names on apparel she produced. The portrait is based on a photograph of a young textile worker in Bangladesh by Charles Kernaghan.