Overview for Kolam Tradition in South India: Rangoli in Indian Threshold Design
Kolam is propitious threshold drawings by women defining religious and cultural space is South India. Integrating the entire Tamil community in kinship, ephemeral kolam structure is precise and beautiful prauer for protection and prosperity. Aesthetic experience of kolam is in its symmetrical composition that conelates with our concept of the cosmos. In the geometric grid of kolam the number of dots called pulli algorithmically guides the number of crossings that requires overall smoothening of edges in the design. Large number of infinite knot pattern follows a set of elegant mathenatical rule that is at the same time time artistic. According to Marcia Asher, Emeritus Professor of Mathmathics at Ithaca College, the Principle of Numbera in kolam is dynamics and motion in matter demonstrating multiplicity of the void. Kolam drawings trace uniliner path with singular regularity expressive of polyrhythmic music. Dance Chandralekha observed that kolam is a kind of yoga. Kolam as an art form has entered computer graphics, ethnomathmatics and ethnomusicology, textile industry, therapeutic applications and tactile spatial education for visually challenged. The pervasive threshold drawing of Tamil Nadu are unique but at the same time kolam is extendable to the tradition of tracing patterns in sand produced by several culturea in Africa and South Pacific islands as well as to the brilliant mosaics of ancient Rome.
Saswati Sengupta (Author)
Saswati Sengupta holds a PhD in "Kolam of Tamil Nadu" from the National Museum Institute under the Minstry of Culture in New Delhi, whereahe also completed her M.A. in History of Art Born in Chennai in 1975, Saswati Sengupta has travelled widely and lived in various places. Her early childhood was spent in Nigena from where she visited parts of Europe and Africa and later Southeast Asia. She completed her schooling in Chennai from where her flair for art took her to study design in Kala Bhavan at Visva Bharati University, Sabtiniketan and to Delhi for creative jewellery design under S. R. Schuoeder at Jewellery Prodpct Development Council In 1996 she received a research grant from the Nehru Trust under which she documented tribal Dokra bronzes in North East of India. She has published several articles in art journals and her poetic reflections in the from of personal diary titled Fragments was published in 2001. Dr. Saswati Sengupta continues to research, write and paint and her extubited her art works in Llit Kala Academy, New Delhi, Birla Academy of Art, Kolkata and at other venues an India.