Kolam, which means “beauty”, is a floor drawing made from rice flour, and is used for ornamental or ceremonial design during traditional South Indian festivities. The Kolam is much more than just an aesthetic art. It symbolizes happiness and prosperity. The Kolam basically consists of dots and lines that together form a meaningful design. Kōlam is a daily women’s ritualistic art form created by Tamil Hindu women throughout Tamil Nadu in southeastern India. Each day before dawn, during the Brahma muhurtam (believed to be the time when Brahma and all other deities descend to the earth) and sometimes before dusk, millions of women in the town, villages and the cities of Tamil Nadu (and Pondicherry) draw kōlam on the thresholds and floors of houses, temples and businesses. In Tamil culture, the threshold is of great significance as the meeting point of the internal and the external and kōlam is one of the many manifestations of that significance. A symbol of auspiciousness and divinity, kōlam is made with rice flour, finely ground rice powder /paste (called kola-podi in Tamil ) or at times vegetable and mineral based colored powders on carefully swept grounds (revered as Bhudevi or Mother Earth). In the contemporary time, to cut down costs white chalk or stone powder (available in packets in market) is mixed with a certain proportion with rice powder. The kōlam patterns are drawn deftly by women with the tips of their fingers using pinches of flour held between the thumb and the first finger and letting the powder fall in a continuous line by moving the hand in desired directions. The patterns of lines and curves are based on a grid of pullis (dots) that are encircled, looped or joined using straight or curved lines. The process involves concentration, memory and a series of disciplined hand and body movements. Here the artist Kavita Sriram has created contemporary designs in relief technique, hand sculpting with air drying clay.
NOTE: The image shown is a close up image of the Painting. The 2nd image shows the full painting, with the following images showcasing closeups of the artwork, detailing the work done by the artist.
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Padi - Kolam Series
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