“I emulate the nameless women who worked with paint and dyes, yarn and cloth and other soft materials.” Faith Ringgold.
Faith Ringgold was born in New York and studied at City College under Robert Gwathmey and Yasuo Kuniyoshi. Her work in the Sixties was strongly political with paintings such as ‘Die’ (1967) depicting a huge riot. She used bold stencil-type images to express her concerns about the treatment of blacks.
Ringgold was also keen to pursue feminist issues and most notably painted a mural depicting many successful women for the Rikes Island Women’s Prison in the early 1970s. After 1973, however, she gave up painting and began to work with fabric. This was preferable in terms of portability and was also more in line with her desire to return to the artistic techniques used traditionally by women particularly in Africa. This led to her ‘story-quilts’ which she started producing towards the end of the Seventies in collaboration with her mother.
Faith Ringgold has been a painter, sculptor, performance artist, fibre artist and lecturer. Her work has been exhibited widely and she has done a lot to bring attention to many important issues affecting late 20th century society.