“These earrings are based on the Tamil tradition of drawing intricate and symmetrical patterns (kolam) on the threshold of one’s home, showcasing the marriage of form and beauty (two meanings of the word kolam in Tamil). The home’s threshold is a meeting spot of many entities – spirits, demons, strangers, loved ones, goddesses…
Kolams are said to invite Goddess Lakshmi into the home – leading to prosperity, wealth, auspiciousness and luck. Kolam-making is women’s work, which mirrors the perception of beading and beadwork. Traditionally, a mixture of rice-flour paste and chalk or vinyl stickers are used to create these mathematical patterns, lending a sense of the ephemeral to these drawings – feet, rain or wind could disturb the kolam, but each day sees the pattern being drawn afresh. By making the kolam permanent in earring form, women’s work – in beading and kolam-making – meets each other, and the threshold is expanded to include the body.”
Miyuki Delica beads on waxed nylon thread with silver slider and earring finding | 8 x 3.2cm | unique
A self-described “failed academic”, Youlendree Appasamy is a writer, editor, digital collagist and zine-maker. Her practice moves across modes of consideration, from research to object-making, reflecting on “art and its intersections” in contemporary South African communities of South Asian ancestry. Youlendree’s primary preoccupations are centred around indenture and its afterlives. She lives and works in Johannesburg.