How daring that this monochrome crossed in the aisles of the Salon de Montrouge! It is the work of Sabrina Belouaar. His only medium was henna.

Sabrina Belouaar, Henna, 2015. Henné sur toile, 200 x 151 cm, pièce unique.


This natural colouring obtained from the dried leaves of an eponymous plant has been used since ancient Egypt. It is this henna that brings all its energy to the picture. Because by choosing the monochrome, Sabrina Belouaar seized a stallion of Western and, moreover, male modernism. Composing with this powder, which is now used to sublimate women’s bodies in India and the Maghreb, gives women a whole new place. Also, the radicality of the monochrome, virgin of formal representation, avoids any grandiloquence. It makes a cold and authoritarian clean slate on a history that has been taken over by men and it firmly offers those who have hitherto been left on the sidelines the possibility of finally having a say in the matter. 

Contrary to the monochromatic tradition, which has seen some painters patent the colour they had created – if not give it their name – Sabrina Belouaar uses in all humility a popular medium, which passes from hand to hand and is applied in the privacy of the home. Also, henna used by women as a protective ornament, especially during the wedding ceremony, is ephemeral, leaving no stigma on the skin. On the contrary, henna is a plant also used for its medicinal and healing properties. The metaphorical significance of this data is important: it gives Sabrina Belouaar’s canvas a particular dimension, relating to care and regeneration. 

It is an area that is sometimes ochre, sometimes golden; a virgin plain, that one could believe to be an aerial shot of a desert territory knocked out by the Sun. A serious and silent landscape that would assert itself frontally to us, devoid of any human presence, and until then, never trodden by any man. I projected my feminist activism and ecological commitment into it. I see in it the revenge of women and the pain that this Earth has in remaining fertile, this Earth that will eventually be killed. Like henna, Sabrina Belouaar’s monochrome heals wounds. His absolute appeased my rage for a moment.  


Visuels Sabrina Belouaar, Henna, 2015. Henné sur toile, 200 x 151 cm, pièce unique.

Camille Bardin
Informations pratiques :
Salon de Montrouge
Du 27 avril au 22 mai 2019
Le Beffroi - 2, place Émile Cresp
92 120 Montrouge
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