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Unknown makers. Kantha with leaf pattern⁠, 20th century⁠. Animation by Annette Jacob⁠, courtesy of MAP

Painted Stitches, Woven Stories: An Exhibition on Kantha

April 12-July 15, 2021

Museum of Art & Photography, Online

MAP’s latest online exhibition, Painted Stitches, Woven Stories, is an exploration of kantha quilting practices in India.

Co-curated by Arnika Ahldag and Vaishnavi Kambadur from the curatorial team at the museum, the exhibition unfolds into a dialogue between interpretations of 19th and 20th-century quilting techniques with works by Indian modern and contemporary artists, who continue to provide visibility to the stitching practices of kantha textiles.

Kantha quilts, in particular, have been born out of a scarcity of material, and are still made by repurposing old clothes, such as used sarees and dhotis, which reveal so much about the people who wore them. Kanthas are patched and embroidered with motifs from the everyday lives of their makers and often gifted to relatives. What do they tell us about the lives of the makers and of the keepers?

To view the exhibition, visit the institution’s website here.