But I Was Never a Bride (2004) - Indian Artist MONALI MEHER
Constituting part of a ritualistic performance piece, Monali Meher covered her body with Henna (Mehndi) in styles that are often applied to a bride’s hand and feet. In this performance, Monali seeks to experience and share the elaborate rituals that accompany marriage and its relation to the woman’s body. Monali writes:
While struggling to get adjusted to the new surrounding which has been created and at the same time coming to a realization of the changing identity, specially in these short visits to my origins, encourages me to open myself up and use my body and spirit to communicate the personal memories of longing and belonging, while simultaneously commenting on female stereotyping within Indian society.
I use Mehendi (Henna) in an unconventional and individual ritualistic way to celebrate the body and its surrounding space as a reference to the marriage and its ceremonial aspect to bridge the past and present.