Himmelfarb Gallery of Tai Sophia Institute in Laurel (Maryland, USA) is holding a quilt exhibition based on Hindu Kolam designs till August 27, 2011. Titled “Pieces as Prayers: Kolam and Kaleidoscope Quilts”, this art quilts exhibition is by artist Lauren Kingsland, who was inspired by Kolam designs while travelling through Tamil Nadu (India).
Applauding Himmelfarb for exhibiting Hinduism focused art, Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that art had a long and rich tradition in Hinduism and ancient Sanskrit literature talked about religious paintings of deities on wood or cloth.
Rajan Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, urged major art museums of the world, including Musee du Louvre and Musee d’Orsay of Paris, Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, Los Angeles Getty Center, Uffizi Gallery of Florence (Italy), Art Institute of Chicago, Tate Modern of London, Prado Museum of Madrid, National Gallery of Art in Washington DC, etc., to frequently organize Hindu art focused exhibitions, thus sharing the rich Hindu art heritage with the rest of the world.
Popular in South India, especially Tamil Nadu, Kolam is a kind of sandpainting which is drawn using rice powder and is said to bring prosperity to homes. Patterns; involving precision, complexity and symmetry; are usually passed on from one generation to the next.
“The Hindu notion of Kolam is that the act of creating the design is the prayer. The dots represent the challenges in our lives and the line is how we choose to create beauty around those difficulties. This meditative or devotional practice is termed by some as ‘painted prayers’,” Gallery announcement says. “Kolam represents for me the universal human impulse to create beauty and order”, Kingsland, who has been making quilts professionally since 1988 as a medium for “healing and wellness, etc.,” stresses.
Founded in 1974, nonprofit Tai Sophia Institute claims to be a leading center for wellness-based education, client care, and public policy discourse, whose 12-acre campus includes “meditation gardens”. Sherman L. Cohn is Board of Trustees Chairperson while Frank Vitale is President. Himmelfarb Gallery “is a place where art and healing intersect”.