Contextual Material

East London Textile Arts

Short Biography

East London Textile Arts (ELTA) is an arts organization based in Manor Park, in the borough of Newham, East London. It was founded in 2008 by Celia Ward and constituted in 2010 by Celia Ward and Sonia Tuttiett. From the start ELTA has met on different days of the week in various community centers around Newham. One of the most cohesive and skilled groups has gathered weekly on Wednesdays at the Little Ilford Baptist Church, off Romford Road since 2010. ELTA is a diverse group of women who work individually and collectively to produce textile art works that reflect issues and urgencies specific to their locality. These include histories of migration and cultural diversity, protecting nature in this highly urban and post-industrial part of London, gentrification and changes to the character of the area, and health issues effecting communities, such as diabetes, and more recently the COVID-19 pandemic. In comparison to many other community projects, ELTA’s longevity has produced a close-knit and supportive environment. Members of the group are skilled in embroidery and are able to make extremely high-quality works, some of which take up to a year to complete.