Kolam designs in cyanotype - chasinglight

Harini Krishnamurthy

Photographer, Visual Artist, Coder

Kolam designs in cyanotype

Kolam is a traditional form of drawing practised in South India, using white rice flour to create designs. They typically use dots and lines and are symmetric in nature. Traditionally, they are drawn on the ground outside homes and are believed to bring prosperity. The designs are passed along from generation to generation, predominantly through the women in the family. I learned to do some of these as a young girl and the ritual of making kolams remains very vivid in my memories of growing up in India.

The cyanotype process was first developed in the mid-nineteenth century. As the name suggests, cyanotype prints are cyan/blue in color. They are made by coating paper with the chemicals, placing an object or negative on the paper and exposing it to sunlight. The exposure to sunlight (or other source of UV light) causes a chemical reaction resulting in a Prussian Blue. 

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