Thursday, October 29, 2009

Kolam on the new Tamil Nadu State Assembly building

The team of architects from Germany are inspired by the kolam designs drawn by the rural women in Tamil Nadu and that made them come up with a motif for the new building to be constructed for the Tamil Nadu State Assembly.

TOI Report - In the Public Plaza, a kolam engraved on natural sandstone will cover 14,000 sq m of the floor space. In the eight 3.75 m high and 1.75 m wide columns, a kolam will be spread over an area 2,300 sq m. And in the metal screen that will adorn the entrance of the complex, a kolam will cover 10,000 sq m.

The GMP International's Indian arm Archivista Engineering has selected the motif pattern too. The picture on Times of India - Chennai edition (Oct. 29, 2009) shows a simple 5 dots - 5 rows kolam

Kolams are not just dot and chain patterns. They have an in-built pattern of calculation in them.
If you know about the Fibonacci numbers, this article will interest you.

While the free hand patterns were popular in the agraharams of villages in Tamil Nadu, the chain pattern like the one chosen for the Assembly building were drawn by mostly the illiterate women.

A pattern drawn on of the four sides is repeated and joined with each other to form an even pattern. The calculation facilitates multiplication of the number of dots and enlarging the design with more number of similar patterns in a single kolam.

Colours were not used in kolams. The urban folk introduced the concept of colours in kolams that join the dots through straight lines and these are done on festival days like Pongal. Colours are still not used in the chain kolam patterns. These patterns look bright and beautiful on the plain ground.

View a carpet of kolams here -

I find the basic single pattern of these kolams to be a pleasant welcome symbol at the entrance of a home even it is an apartment. I wake up to draw very simple ones at my doorstep everyday and I find one of my neighbours come with a paper and pencil to draw the pattern and take it home! She is disappointed when I repeat the kolam patterns!

Here are a few 5 dots 5 rows kolams that I make in front of my home.

1 comment:

Haddock said...

Any thing to do with geometry.