Kolam: Art and science of sacred geometry
I was brought up in bilingual family and as a child my favourite book was “Contes et légendes de l’Inde” (tales and legends of India), “The River”, a film by Jean Renoir attracted me to India.
One day, a mail from Beauté Prestige International, a company that produces and markets perfumes for several brands such as Issey Miyake. The project: two fragrances inspired by the olfactory landscape of South-India and the graphical world of kolam.
The aesthetic of kolam is traditionally associated with dry rice flour laid in fine lines, or wet rice flour spread out in thicker, wavy strips. During festive seasons and auspicious days in a home, women favour the latter as it lasts longer.
The vaishnava kolam grace the doorsteps of Vaishnavite Iyengar Brahmins, while padi kolam, with their straight lines, reveal that a home belongs to a Shaivite Iyer Brahmin family.
So women don't hesitate to step outside the home to take part in contests with others who are just as passionate about this art. In my opinion, the most creative contest is the one which takes place in Mylapore, a neighbourhood in Chennai.
"Traditional kolams need to be revived", Chantal Jumel has been doing research on kolam and floor paintings for 15 years now. She came to Chennai from France in 2010 and continued her research in a few villages.
Intach-Madurai invites you to a conference on Indian floor paintings by Chantal Jumel.
Chennai has an enthusiastic visitor from France every year, during Margazhi season. Meet Chantal Jumel.
Drawing a kolam is an everyday chore for many women but how many are aware of its aesthetics and what the dots signify? Through pictures and lectures, French photographer Chantal Jumel enlightens us.
DAKSHINA CHITRA, Chennai, February 13 to March 20, 2016
ARTICLE "A journey through graphical India" Chantal Jumel
"Unbound line that traverses Elements", an exhibition by French artist Chantal Jumel, is inspired from a gamut of topics that range from contemporary issues to Upanishads to the ephemeral kolam.
Chantal Jumel has made Mylapore her year-end home, to study local creative work.
French researcher Chantal Jumel's fascination for the kolam led her to document this traditional practice.
Signature of my recent book “Voyage dans l’imaginaire indien, Kôlam, dessins éphémères des femmes tamoules”
As I am sitting cross-legged, contemplating the creation of a mandana, the boldest girl hands me a vegetable brush and points out where I have to draw. By way of dialogue, she writes in space with the tip of her index finger, the pattern’s outline.
Perched on a hillock, it is a densely built up area and houses adapt themselves to uneven grounds by spreading harmoniously their volumes on different levels. Alignments, projections and recesses allow glimpses of terraces overlooking other open spaces. This is how I notice freshly painted mandana.
For The European Night of Museums, I created at the “Musée des instruments” (Musical instruments museum) in Céret, (France) a floor painting inspired by the Indian musical scale and the symbolic representation of the notes. The technic is influenced by the Tamil kolam and the Kerala kalam.
Conference on kolam at Apparao galleries.
An avid student of kolam, Chantal Jumel found that the pictorial ritual tradition combines aesthetics with philosophy.
Happy to share with you the release on August 13th of my book on South Indian Kolam.
As a child I dreamed of becoming a dancer or an actress, a musician or a painter and my favourite book was “Contes et légendes de l’Inde”. The images showed black and white men in turbans, an assembly of bonzes, a man with an elephant face and characters with numerous arms and heads.
It is a tough task to spot Chantal Jumel in the crowd of mamis that has gathered near the Kapaleeswarar temple for the Mylapore festival kolam contest.
Chantal Jumel, a french woman is different in many ways from other foreigners you see traversing the streets of Mylapore
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