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From folklore to decor

Swatches | October 1, 2019 | By:

Tribal art, rooted in folklore, translates beautifully to contemporary designs for home decor. Photos: Tales on Silk.

Artist Santosh Maravi is from a village called Gaarkarmatta in Madhya Pradesh, a large province in central India. His art form is Gond, a type of tribal painting that dates back centuries to when people created designs on the mud walls of their houses. 

Today, Gond artists work on canvas with brushes and paint, creating magical motifs rooted in the folk stories of their culture. In his work, Maravi explores themes of the environment, how it is changing and what that means to animals, people and the natural world.

His piece “Herd of Elephants” (left) imagines elephants carrying the forest with them so they can avoid humans and be happy. Maravi’s design “In Conversation” longs for the time that humans, trees and animals lived in the forest in harmony.

The works of Santosh Maravi and other artists are now available from Tales on Silk. The company is described as a labor of love by founder Nirali, an Indian expat living in the Netherlands who wanted to bring lesser-known artists of India to the world. 

Nirali has created contemporary home decor pieces featuring the artists’ designs in prints and pillows. The pillow designs are on soft velvet or cotton. For more information, visit

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