Kolam: An Ephemeral Women's Art of South India

11 May 2018
Claudia Silva & Oscar Garcia-Prada

Oscar García-Prada - The Mathematics of Kolam

In Tamil Nadu, a state in southern India, it is an old tradition to decorate the entrance to the home with a geometric figure called ``Kolam''. A kolam is a geometrical line drawing composed of curved loops, drawn around a grid pattern of dots. This is typically done by women using white rice flour. Kolams have connections to discrete mathematics, number theory, abstract algebra, sequences, fractals and computer science. After reviewing a bit of its history, Oscar will explore some of these connections. 

Claudia Silva - Kolam: An Ephemeral Women´s art of South India

Kolam is a street drawing, performed by women in south India. This daily ritual of "putting" the kolam on the ground represents a time of intimacy, concentration and creativity. Through some videos, Claudia will explain some basic features of kolam, focusing on anthropological, religious, educational and artistic aspects of this beautiful female art expression.

The lectures are accompanied by a photography exhibition at Wolfson College.