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Henna artist to offer history, culture talk

BRISTOL — The ancient and sacred art of body adornment using henna will be explored in this month’s program of the One World Library Project in Bristol. Henna artist Bridgette Bartlett will present “Henna: History, Culture and Rituals” on Thursday, Sept. 25, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Lawrence Memorial Library in Bristol.
In this free program, Bartlett will discuss the early history and origin of henna, how it has traveled geographically, henna rituals and regional designs. She will also talk about the evolution of henna use from staining hair and skin to today’s highly intricate designs in body art. She will explain how a good henna paste is made as well as application methods, and will also do a few demonstrations, allowing time for people to try creating their own designs and ask questions.
Henna has been used as a cosmetic from as far back as ancient Egypt and is considered a sacred form of adornment and beauty across many cultures and religions. The dye comes from a small shrub that thrives in hot, arid climates and is renowned for its red staining properties. Although henna has been applied to hair and skin for thousands of years, henna body art is a fairly new phenomenon, made possible because of fine applicators that allow artists to create intricate designs. Bartlett says “though the use of henna is ancient, the fine art form of it is really just beginning.”
Bartlett, who is based in Lincoln, first picked up henna in 2011 and was immediately drawn to its ancient history and smooth texture. In the years since, she has made several trips to India to pursue her passion for pattern and adornment. She has studied the history and art of henna extensively and taught workshops to other henna professionals at the Henna Intensive and Retreat in California.
For more information on the program, contact the Lawrence Memorial Library at 453-2366 or go to www.OneWorldLibraryProject.org.

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