Anna Laine is an independent researcher in anthropology and artistic practice. She has been trained in photography and art, and holds a PhD in social anthropology from Gothenburg University, Sweden.
Her relationship with kolam began in 2003, and the practice developed into the focus of her doctoral thesis. The doctoral thesis, titled 'In Conversation with the Kolam Practice: Auspiciousness and Artistic Experiences among Women in Tamil Nadu, South India', includes photographic essays and has been transformed into textile and video works presented at art spaces in Stockholm, London and New Delhi. During Laine’s research on contemporary art and migration within the British Tamil diaspora, kolam emerged as a participatory art project at a suburban shopping area in collaboration with the local refugee centre.
When Laine teaches kolam in anthropology and art programmes, she often includes workshops where the students can try the powder material and become more familiar with the practice.