About

Ekta Kaul

Making with Meaning

My work is about making with meaning. It enables me to express myself through thread and fabric and to tell stories of place, history and belonging. Stitch connects me to my heritage, especially to my mother and ancestors who embroidered. My work is about narrating stories, connecting people across borders and generations. Beyond the pure joy of creativity, it offers me a contemplative space, comfort, community and connection. My textile practice is a powerful expression of all that I cherish and being able to practice it is a real privilege.

My creative practice focuses on narrative maps that explore a sense of place and belonging through stitch. I am drawn to maps not only because they are they beautiful objects in their own right but also because they are repositories for meaning. A map can reveal so many stories and can become a portal to places of personal and collective history.

A pared down aesthetic coupled with a highly considered use of graphic marks and lines form the core elements of my work. These are underpinned by a thoughtful approach to making with meaning, a deep interest in heritage and a firm commitment to sustainability.

I work on public and private map commissions taking inspiration from the history, architecture and personal narratives of place. My work is held in several collections including Crafts Council, Liberty’s of London, the Gunnersbury Museum, Chiswick Library to name a few. I also make a small number of works to sell and you can find them here or at select galleries in the UK and internationally including The New Craftsmen, Contemporary Applied Arts, Designers Guild, Museum of Art and Design NYC, The Conran Shop Tokyo. I work from my studio at Cockpit Arts in Bloomsbury, Central London.

 

Connection, Community & Collaboration

 

Sometimes due to circumstances or lack of encouragement, some of us come to believe that we are not creative. However,  I firmly believe that creativity is a skill that can be learnt and honed. The best way to do it is learning by doing. Therefore, I teach masterclasses that are hands on, offering you gentle guidance, encouragement and creative mentoring. These are intimate gatherings for the culturally curious who want to explore textiles in meaningful ways. Here I share my skills and my two decades worth of experience of being a practicing artist and educator to help you develop your authentic creative voice.

I also collaborate with some lovely cultural organisations in Britain and abroad where you can learn from me. Some of these include the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, Kettle’s Yard in Cambridge, Maiwa in Vancouver and Selvedge amongst others. See more collaborations and upcoming dates here.

Besides these, working on socially engaged art projects gives me a lot of joy. Over the last decade I have led community art projects in collaboration with Museums and Heritage sector organisations. Recent projects includes commissions from Gunnersbury Park Museum, Watermans Art Centre, Craftspace, Hounslow Council and ChinaExchange, London.

“We are all made of stories.”

Charles de Lint

I grew up in India and trained at India’s premier design school, the National Institute of Design (NID), Ahmedabad before moving to the UK for my Masters in Textiles. Living in diverse, vibrant cities like Edinburgh, Bath, Ahmedabad, Delhi and London has been a wonderful education in celebrating plurality of perspectives, imbibing a wide array of cultural influences and developing a creative voice rooted in the non-binary.

Join me

My stitches have connected me to people across the world. I treasure this community of like-minded explorers. If you’d like to join me, you can find me on Instagram where I share the (near) daily goings on in my world or sign up for my studio newsletter for a dose of inspiration, new work, collaborations and courses.

Hear about my studio updates

See Awards and Client list

Awards

  • Winner Cockpit Arts Textiles Awards 2021
  • Finalist Guildhall Artist in Residence 2019
  • Finalist Jerwood Maker’s Open 2019
  • Finalist Crafted- Walpole and Arts & Business Award, 2011
  • Nominated for Arts Foundation Fellowship, 2010
  • Grant for the Arts, Arts Council of England, 2008
  • Craft Council’s business set up award ‘Next Move’, 2008
  • Selected for NESTA’s entrepreneurial support programme ‘Starter for Six’, 2007
  • Chosen India’s top 20 Creative Futures by the British Council, 2006
  • Awarded Scottish Executive’s Scottish International Scholarship for MA, 2005
  • Awarded British Council’s Charles Wallace Trust India Scholarship for MA, 2005

Selected Galleries, Clients & Collaborators

  • Victoria & Albert Museum, London
  • The New Craftsmen, London
  • Conran Shop, Tokyo
  • The Makerie, Colorado, USA
  • Liberty, London
  • Designers Guild, London
  • Museum of Art & Design, New York
  • Selvedge, London
  • Leighton House Museum, London
  • Contemporary Applied Arts, London
  • Artshop & Gallery, Wales
  • Ruthin Craft Centre, Wales
  • Devon Guild of Craftsmen, England
  • Bluecoat Display Centre, England
  • Dazzle at Oxo, London and Edinburgh