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Contemporary Henna Art Takes Center Stage At Azra Khamissa's Solo Exhibition

In the heart of Dubai, a solo exhibition entitled ‘Hand in Hand’ has been presented at the Dastaangoi Gallery in partnership with Bayt AlMamzar, featuring a collection of photographs and artworks by the contemporary henna artist, Azra Khamissa, otherwise widely known as @dr.azra on Instagram. The exhibition, curated by Amad Mian, is running from 19th April 2023, and is an opportunity for the artist to showcase her interpretation of the timeless tradition of henna application.

Khamissa has made waves in the art world with her innovative and contemporary approach to the practice of henna. Through her artwork, she invites the viewer to pause and contemplate the relationship between life, time, and humanity, using the ever-changing medium of henna to tell stories that evolve with the passage of time.

For Khamissa, art has always been a form of meditation. The calming scent and sensation of henna have helped her deal with a constantly racing and distracted mind over the years, and have also allowed her to feel more connected to the UAE, where she moved at the age of 11 as a Canadian-South African with Indian roots. Henna is an element that is shared across several cultures during moments of celebration, be it Eid or weddings, and Khamissa's dedication to the practice has allowed her to feel a deeper connection to the women of the region.

As one of the pioneers of modernizing henna culture, Khamissa has turned her deeply personal passion into something bigger. She has made henna more appealing to the younger generation, and her minimalist designs have caught the attention of international brands such as Gucci, Fendi, and Bulgari. Her recent collaboration with Adidas saw her designs adorning three different pairs of all-white sneakers.

The ‘Hand in Hand’ exhibition showcases Khamissa's talent and her ability to combine tradition and modernity. The pieces on display are a testament to her passion and dedication to the art of henna, and an invitation to the viewer to appreciate the beauty and complexity of this ancient practice through her contemporary lens.

In a world where tradition and modernity often seem at odds, Khamissa's artwork offers a unique perspective on the possibilities of combining the two. ‘Hand in Hand’ is a must-see exhibition for anyone interested in exploring the evolution of henna culture and the innovative ways in which contemporary artists are pushing the boundaries of tradition. 

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