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  • Writer's pictureMathushaa Sagthidas


Kolam Design by me ©

Kolam making by me and my mum

The Kolam was a performative piece part of my exhibition for my project, ஒருதீவிலிருந்துஒருநகரம் meaning “A city away from an Island”, performed at Southwark Park Galleries.

Photography by me ©

Kolam, which popular known by the Indian term Rangoli, is a form of drawing that is drawn by using rice flour, chalk powder or rock powder. Kolam is an intricate geometric pattern that tend to be created with just white powder, but more complex Kolams are drawn and various vibrant colours are often added during religious holiday occasions and special celebrations and events. It is widely practised by female Hindu family members in front of their houses. The Kolam isn’t just another pretty aspect of south Asian culture, it has a very significant and religious meaning. It is a sign of invitation to welcome all into the home, especially the goddess Lakshmi, the Goddess of prosperity and wealth. It is important that when creating these geometric patterns through a free form dotting/ pouring technique, to close and complete it, to symbolically prevent evil spirits from entering the inside of the shapes, therefore preventing them from entering the inside of the home.

Back in Sri Lanka, amongst a few other countries across the Indian subcontinent, the drawings are get walked on, washed out in the rain, or blown around in the wind; new ones are made the next day. Which is in the morning before sunrise, the floor of the house, or wherever the Kolam may be drawn, is cleaned with water and the muddy floor swept well to create an even surface, to create a new piece. I chose to create this for my exhibition, for many reason. One of them being the fact that this religious tradition was being passed on from my mum to me, as well as it being a sentimental and nostalgic experience for me and my mum. Another reason was to reflect an important aspect of Tamil culture within my exhibition whilst creating an experience that people would be able to learn from. Creating work like this for my ஒருதீவிலிருந்துஒருநகரம் meaning “A city away from an Island” project, with my mum was an e joyful experience, something I’m sure I will continue within future project.

Math x

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