Sudanese Henna, Final round!

Sudanese Henna, Final round!

Wow, what crazy 6 weeks it’s been, and they’ve gone so fast as well! For those who haven’t been following our henna, I’ve taken part in an International Henna competition, and what started off with over 30 Henna artists from round the world, in 6 rounds, has now come down to the Top 2 in the Final round; Sara’s Henna being one of those 2!! We have been pushed and challenged for a chance to win the amazing grand prize of a FREE ticket to the Annual Henna Conference in California, the Henna Intensive and retreat!! Voting has begun, competition is tough and I need your support to get me to my dream conference!!

Theme for Final Round:

Sudanese Henna

Sudanese Henna

Pic by ‘Sudanese Henna’ Facebook page!

Now, before we even had this theme, I knew that if I made it to the final round, I wanted to do a communal piece. This competition has taught me so much about community, support & interconnection, and made me so grateful to be a part of such an incredible universal network – that this had to be portrayed through my final piece!! So I was very happy with this theme, as it fit my original vision perfectly. Given the current situation in Sudan, with all their instability, destruction, lives lost and divides , I wanted to create a work of art that somehow acts as a message of Peace and unity. That brings and bonds people together instead of dividing them, and this could be done wonderfully through the use of the bold, swirly interlocking Sudanese patterns.

My vision: Create the change I want to see in the world, one Henna piece a time!:)

This brings me to my final Henna Art piece: 

The Sudanese Tsaheylu – the neural connection & henna bonds of unity & harmony.

Sudanese Henna sketches

My Sudanese henna rough sketches and ideas.

This concept was the most challenging one, as it involved 3 models, 3 designs and 1 larger picture. To represent ethnic diversity, I got models from all different ethnicities; Caucasian, West Indian-Canadian, and African-Chinese. These ladies were crucial in the creation of this masterpiece, and their support, time, patience for this shoot is something I am so incredibly grateful for! I also loved the fact that although they had never met/ worked together before, they worked together in the perfect synergy!


Avatar chanting scene – Inspiration for my shoot!

In all honesty, this idea and vision was inspired by Avatar, and the scene shown above! For those who haven’t seen Avatar, this scene is all about community, and unity, with all the Na’vi people connected to the ground, through their roots and acting as one entity. This created my vision for my Henna piece. Though for this, I required a studio who would let me draw on their floor! So ofcourse I called upon my dear friend, Prerna; the Founder of Fill in the Blank; a creative workspace. And as she has been after me to henna their space for some time now, as I expected her only comment was “Whatever you do in this studio for your shoot, make it permanent and we have a deal!” And so I got my studio sponsored!! Here’s my shot at a Sudanese Henna permanent floor print – and my base for my shoot!

Sudanese Henna floor art

Sudanese Henna floor art at ‘Fill in the Blank’ studio, HK!

I deliberately chose yellow as the theme color for this shoot because of all the positive feelings this color represents. It also matches perfectly with the studio’s environment as well as working as a complimentary color with the natural brown of the henna, and I’m super happy with the way it all turned out!!:)

So, once the floor was done, I started working on the models one by one. The hardest part was connecting them through their arms, as they had to keep their arms up the entire time. Each time they let their arms down, we had to piece them back together like a massive jigsaw puzzle!:) This was definitely the most tiring part for the models! I let my henna flow and the designs take shape naturally, using just a few Sudanese patterns for reference.

Sudanese Henna bonds

Interlocking Sudanese henna bonds

Here’s a little photo collage of the works in progress. These Lovely photos have captured the true energy and activity of the day and I’m so thankful for my dear friend & freelance photographer BJ, for volunteering to be a part of this fantastic shoot!

Sudanese Henna

Work in progress, behind the scenes at the Sudanese Henna shoot

Now, because my idea was to have them all sitting in the middle of this yellow henna floor, this caused for some interesting positions and challenges for my lovely photographer. I am soooo thankful for Inga Beckmann for sponsoring this shoot!! Her photos inspired me due to the way she captures emotions and energy, and I knew I wanted to work with someone like her, who can bring that creative direction and that energy and power in the final shot.

Inga beckman

Inga Beckmann, behind the scenes!

Each one of my models had a different unique Sudanese concept, and I will be blogging about each one individually over the next few weeks, however, without further delay, I’d like to show you our final piece, and my entry for the final round of the Henna Competition!

The Sudanese Tsaheylu – the neural connection & henna bonds of unity & harmony.

The Sudanese Henna by sarashenna

This Sudanese Henna Art piece is very close to my heart, touching upon issues I feel very passionately about. I truly believe that Henna knows no boundaries, it can not be contained or restricted. Henna is a tool for change, and a tool for creating beautiful bonds and connections! For me, it’s an art that speaks for itself and draws people to it, and I have been so lucky and blessed to have this talent that calls people to be a part of it – willingly and happily! I love it for helping me create such a fantastic network and an awareness in a place like Hong Kong!!

If this piece touches you in any way, I urge you to VOTE for it and help me connect, bond and learn from the Henna masters and gurus who I have been following and been inspired by! You can also follow our visual journey through our Facebook page! Feel free to share, pin, repin this image with all those who you think may like it!



A massive THANK YOU to all my Sponsors for making this vision possible:


Inga Beckmann Photography: Main Photographer

Baijayanti Chadha: Behind the scenes photographer


Vanessa Lawson: Founder of DIY Blog, All Things Indulgent

Caroline Chan: Freelance professional Model

Courtenay Shivrattan: Dancer, Model & Teacher

Studio: Fill in the Blank, Hong Kong



  1. Blume Bauer says:
    August 24, 2013 at 3:22 am

    Your piece, your inspiration behind the piece, and your message are all truly inspiring! Thank you Sara for sharing such amazing work with all of us and pushing yourself as an artist so that we might benefit in turn. You are amazing!

  2. Mush Panjwani says:
    August 24, 2013 at 10:23 am

    Your stories are perfect examples of the four steps to success that I practice and preach: dreams, goals, plans, action! I also have the privilege of seeing you in action at every stage… and it’s always an inspiration! You are a winner, beyond any doubt!

  3. Vijay naidoo says:
    August 24, 2013 at 11:43 am

    Truly amazing piece, Sarah. I love art too and am a keen follower of Australian artist David Behrens who uses symbols and syringes to create similiar art works. He uses a lot of bright, neon colours on a black background and draws a lot of his inspiration from tribal hieroglyphics and cultural references. Was just wondering though – does henna wash out after a while? Pity if it does as this piece would do well to live through te annals of time.monce again, all the best.

  4. Syed Agha Rizvi says:
    August 25, 2013 at 1:36 am

    Excellent stuff-keep it up Sara -you have done an amazing work and may God give u all the success of this world-and may sky be the limit fr it.

  5. heena says:
    August 25, 2013 at 10:28 pm

    great work mashaAllah! u r an inspiration! :)

  6. Mangala Hegdekatte says:
    August 26, 2013 at 11:05 am

    Awesome. .incredible work.. God bless. .

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