Henna

One form of mark making is Henna (or Mehndi). Hindu’s often used the term ‘Mehndi’ interchangeable with marraige; there is great tradition surrounding Henna where women sit and paint and adorn each others hands/ feet. It’s believed that woman doesn’t have to do any housework until the mehndi has faded – so its dark and deep.

There is something about the act of the woman having to wait for long periods of time to let the mehendi dry – the longer you leave it, the darker it gets. Its a time where the bride has chance to sit and contemplate her future with new husband.

I have used Henna and am drawn to it. The focus it takes and precision to create the piece, and then having to wait still for it to dry and discovering the colour and beauty of it on the skin. I have also used it as a medium for art work, researching and creating patterns. This ties in to symbols. Within each design, symbols are included – the most well known is the ‘ohm’ symbol.

I have a strong interest with the body, I particularly like the back and the lines that are produced. There are sweeping lines and shadows that move into the next, quite like handwriting – personal to each person and has their own way of moving.This interest has intergrated my love of words/quotes. I, myself, have 3 tattoos which include; symbolism, sweeping letters, and on certain parts of the body which has lines and shadows. To some extent, I see tattoos as an extension of contemporary art- a way of adorning the body with artistic markings. This is what the art of Mehendi is all about, the decoraion of the body. This has been an ancient way of communication an artistic expression.

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