This mixed media artwork is a portrait of a woman cabbie from the 1940s. I worked with acrylic paint to portray the woman. In the background, I created stripes of 23k gold leaf to emphasize the pride and memory of this woman who embraced changing social norms.
I also chose actual gold leaf as a way to literally speak of her value and worth. It’s a means to honor her and speak to the irony of being documented by a photographer but not worthy enough of documenting her name.
I then embroidered the pattern on her coat inspired by vintage fabric patterns as another way to give her time and honor her memory. I worked with traditionally decorative or “female” materials as another means to celebrate this unknown, unsung woman.
Listen to Carrie as she talks about Ruth and her influence on her artwork and her story of strength.
Acrylic, 23 k gold leaf and cotton embroidery floss on cotton canvas