Textiles that tell a story: the narrative map quilts of Ekta Kaul

Textiles that tell a story: the narrative map quilts of Ekta Kaul
Charlotte Bowater

Guilded is synonymous with art of intriguing duality whether that be a framed painting that on closer inspection is made of thousands of precision-made paper-based fish or a framed view of the constellations that also performs as a mirror. Clients come to me in the knowledge that I gather and curate original work with an aesthetic and approach to materials they will find nowhere else.

With that in mind I would like to take this opportunity to highlight textile art which is a tradition rooted in the history of interior decoration and yet just as valid an artistic vehicle today as it ever was. For example, in medieval Europe textile houses producing tapestries or leather panels were at the heart of artistic patronage. They served not just as large scale narrative decoration but provided insulation and absorbed sound.

The art and tradition of textile hangings has been reimagined for contemporary interiors by two of Guilded’s textile artists and craftswomen: Anna Gravelle who specialises in tufted abstracts, and award-winning cartography specialist Ekta Kaul whose work is highlighted this week.

Ekta fully engages the narrative potential of textiles through cartography, her fascination for maps inspired by her childhood in India where she would spend hours drawing maps of places real or imagined.

As an adult Ekta trained in Fashion at the National Institute of Design (NID, Ahmedabad) in India, where she won the Charles Wallace and British Council scholarships to pursue her Textiles MA in the UK. She then set up her London practice in 2008, crafting exquisite bespoke handmade cartographic quilts, each imbued with sensitivity and character, as well as a minimalist, bold application of colour.

Collaborating with clients she draws out personal histories, identifying the cartographic basis for the map (from an entire country to a city or town) onto which she will embroider places of significance and bringing special memories to life in contrasting thread. Each map is unique to the owner and becomes an heirloom of personal or family history.

While Ekta specialises in creating work to commission I am pleased to offer a one-off map of the British Isles with an embroidered silk front quilted on cotton back, measuring 180cm high by 110 cm wide. The hanging is fitted with a back sleeve and is supplied with an extendable hanging pole and screws for installation. Price: £2,400 (inc VAT)

If you are interested in this work please bear in mind there is only one available.
To purchase please contact: charlotte@guilded.co.uk