086: Intersection: Sana Riyazali Merchant, Bridal Henna

Updated: 7 days ago

In the previous episode, we met Keight MacLean who discussed the ways in which she fell into her work by accident and through lots of experimentation, the ways living abroad immersed in art for a year continues to impact her professional work, as well as how and why she never experiences creative block. She also discussed how she uses her artistic practice to interweave traditional and modern ideologies, techniques and stories and today’s guest agrees.

Allow me to officially introduce you to today’s guest: Sana Riyazali Merchant.

Sana Riyazali Merchant is a bridal henna artist. Henna has been her passion from a very young age. Sana’s love for henna grew even stronger after her family moved to Canada when she was a teenager and henna application became a tool for her to make friends and integrate herself socially. Sana’s henna journey led her to meet amazing people and create art that, in return, became part of the way she practiced self care. Today she cannot imagine life without henna. From the making of the henna paste to the application process and then receiving feedback from brides/clients/family, Sana is passionate about every step. She is continuously thinking of ways to take my henna to the next level. This ancient art form with its amazing healing powers has always filled Sana’s soul with love and positivity.

In our conversation, Sana and I discuss the ways in which history and culture influence her work, the interesting challenges associated with drawing on hands as canvases and how her medium (henna paste) is uniquely tricky to work with.

Key Ideas Discussed:

  • Henna has medicinal properties