Kolam: Floor Art of Tamil Nadu

in Module
Published on: 03 July 2018

Anni Kumari

Anni Kumari is a visual artist, art educator and independent researcher based in Delhi. Currently, a professor at Ashoka University, she teaches a course in experiential drawing. She has been a grantee at Lalit Kala Akademi, Ministry of Culture, University Grants Commission, Spic Macay and Artreach India.
She has published and presented research papers as part of the Delhi Citizen Handbook under Centre for Civil Society and the National Queer Conference at Jadavpur University by Sappho for Equality. Her works have been exhibited at British Council, Alliance Francaise, German Embassy and India International Centre. She has been part of select shows at Art District XIII (Delhi), OED Gallery (Kochi) and Piramal Art Foundation (Mumbai).

This module is a study of kolam, an everyday ritualistic floor art form practiced mostly by Hindu women from Tamil Nadu. It offers a glimpse of the various stages in kolam making in both urban and rural settings in the cities and towns nearby Chennai and Pondicherry along with images of kolam copy books, stencils and stickers that offer a quick alternative to traditional kolam. The articles present ethnographic and socio-historical perspectives on the deep rooted connection of kolam with ecology and gender. The documentation makes visible the importance of kolam in Tamil culture, emphasising its inherent mathematical precision. The attempt is to explore the inherent spiritual, playful and ephemeral aesthetics of kolam as a daily act of creating, erasing and recreating.