Modern Art in the Traditional Way: Rangoli (2022)

Rangoli artwork created by Megha Patel and Purvish Patel, on display at GDAG December 2022
The Godfrey Dean Art Gallery was thrilled to work with local artists Megha Patel and Purvish Patel who created two Rangoli installations at our gallery, one on display through the month of November 2022, and a second on display in December 2022.

Rangoli as a word is derived from the Sanskrit Rangavalli, and is composed of two words: rang, which means colour and aavalli, which means rows of colours.
Local artists Megha Patel and Purvish Patel in the process of creating the first of two Rangoli artworks on display at GDAG November 2022
Rangoli is a traditional folk art passed down from generation to generation in India in which patterns are created on the floor or ground using colours. Rangoli is a spiritual distribution of colour and is considered a sign of good luck. Its significance is much wider than its aesthetic and decorative purpose. It is a symbol of auspiciousness—often described as rituals to ward off evil—it is meant to bring prosperity, luck, and growth in family life.

The Rangoli art form has different names in different regions of India, such as Saathiya in Gujarati, Rangoli in Maharashtra, Muggu in Andhra Pradesh, Kolam in Tamilnadu, Mandana in Rajasthan, Chowkpujan in UP, and so on. In India, basic Rangoli is an everyday practice, but creative Rangolis are usually made during festivals such as Diwali, Onam, Pongal, Sankranthi, and various other festivals.
Rangoli artwork created by Megha Patel and Purvish Patel, on display at GDAG November 2022
The most important element of Rangoli is being colourful. Normally, the major colours used to make Rangoli are from day-to-day life, expressed with coloured rice flour, dried powders made from leaves, charcoal, burned soil, saw dust, etc. A wide variety of various colours are used in the art.

Some of the major symbols used in Rangoli are the lotus flower and its leaves, mango, tue leaves, fish, different kinds of parrots, swans, peacocks, human figures and much more.

Rangoli has a range including diagrams, charts, and geometrical patterns, and over time it has incorporated imaginations and innovative ideas giving it a modern look.