Celebrating women through henna

Henna artist Pascaline Greau opens first photography exhibition

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A photography exhibition that celebrates women through henna opened in Yellowknife last week.

Meaghan Richens/NNSL photo. Pascaline Greau stands in front of photos of her henna artwork. Greau held a henna photo exhibition at MusicSpace last week.

The project was supported by the NWT Arts Council and the Association franco-culturelle de Yellowknife (AFCY) and opened with a vernissage at MusicSpace on Thursday.

Henna artist Pascaline Greau said the inspiration to put on the exhibition came from brainstorming with other women.

“I think first I was like very, maybe selfish. I was like I want to do something!” she said.

“I want to put something on.”

Meaghan Richens/NNSL photo. Henna powder is made from the crushed leaves of the Lawsonia inermis plant, which is native to parts of Africa and Asia.

Greau worked with eight different women in Yellowknife to adorn them with henna body art before they were photographed by seven different women photographers.

The unique and intimate portraits highlight women from various walks of life at different stages of their lives.

“I needed their permission, I needed them to want to share something with me first and then with the public also,” Greau explained.

“I don’t think there is just one stage we can focus on. It’s all different stories, it’s all different experiences – just like the way life is.”

Greau said her favourite part of putting the show together was the henna sessions and working closely with other women.

“Doing these one-on-ones with all the women, even the photographers and the ladies who are sharing their stories,” she said.

Meaghan Richens/NNSL photo. These photos from Pascaline Greau’s henna photo exhibition depict women at various stages of their lives. Greau decorated each subject with henna body art before they were captured by a unique female photographer.

People have asked Greau to do henna workshops in the past and after this project, she plans to look into that too.

“It was a great experience and I’m just hoping to be able to do more,” she said.

The photo exhibition is now on display at MusicSpace on Franklin Ave.

Greau will be at the space for viewings from noon to 1 p.m. every day from April 15 to April 19 next week. She will be offering henna by donation, with proceeds going to MusicSpace.

Meaghan Richens/NNSL photo. Visitors looking at photos of henna art at MusicSpace.