More Creative Expression That Touches The Divine

This is turning into a video heavy week with my posts. With all my talk about helping people recognize their capacity for creative expression, this seemed to be a ready made example.

The BBC website hosted a short documentary video of women in southern India drawing kolam. (Unfortunately, the video doesn’t embed well so you will have to follow the link.)

Every morning they will create intricate designs with rice flour near the thresholds of their homes. Foot/car traffic, weather, animals and birds wear it down/consume it over the day and they start again the next morning. (Though the materials seem remarkably resistant to smudging and dissipation as vehicles drive over it.)

There is a belief that the practice will bring protection on the household. One of the women interviewed says it is a great stress reliever for her. The women also see the designs they create as an expression of their inner selves.

The two women who are the primary focus of the video participate in a competition so you will definitely want to watch to video to get a sample of the broad array of designs the dozens of competitors have developed.

About Joe Patti

I have been writing Butts in the Seats (BitS) on topics of arts and cultural administration since 2004 (yikes!). Given the ever evolving concerns facing the sector, I have yet to exhaust the available subject matter. In addition to BitS, I am a founding contributor to the ArtsHacker ( website where I focus on topics related to boards, law, governance, policy and practice.

I am also an evangelist for the effort to Build Public Will For Arts and Culture being helmed by Arts Midwest and the Metropolitan Group. (

My most recent role was as Executive Director of the Grand Opera House in Macon, GA.

Among the things I am most proud are having produced an opera in the Hawaiian language and a dance drama about Hawaii's snow goddess Poli'ahu while working as a Theater Manager in Hawaii. Though there are many more highlights than there is space here to list.


Leave a Comment