During a photography project I undertook last year, I explored ‘Expression of the Body’ where I looked at the different ways in which people express themselves, including tattoos and dance.
Whilst doing this project I looked at the work of Shirin Neshat. I find her work very interesting, especially her series of work ‘Women of Allah’ which I feel resembles henna tattoo art, which is something that is practiced within my culture.
Neshat says she was struck by the tradition of tattooing in the Middle Eastern and Indian cultures. For example, Women writing on their hands for festivities. When composing her images (Women of Allah) she felt that inscription on the skin was appropriate as it was the body of a Muslim woman as it is the symbolic voice of women whose sexuality and invidualism has been destroyed by the veil.
I like her work because it has so much depth to it, you know there is more meaning behind the images.
Using the work I had already produced from this project I felt that I could take it further and use this image to expand on and transform.
Seeing Neshat’s images and being reminded of henna I decided to draw this henna pattern which I scanned into photoshop. I overlaid this onto the previous image several times, enlarging parts and minimising others. Doing this made it look slightly chaotic but I liked this. It seems almost as though the pattern is emerging out of the dancer.