Meet our dost: Artist Tahsine Al Hassane shares on wellness, rituals and roots
Dosti दोस्ती, pronounced 'dostee': Friendship

Based out of Toronto, Tahsine Al Hassane is an artist and mother working, creating and living both intuitively and iteratively. Her work exists in and speaks to the spaces between shifting and chiselling, picking up and laying down, pushing and pulling and beyond. Consideration is a big part of her life, and we believe that to live with consideration requires one to slow down the speed of their life; how else can you observe if not by extending the gap between stimulus and response? 

At the core, who is Tahsine Al Hassane?

At my core, I'm a human being. And I'm trying and aiming to live thoughtfully, artistically, beautifully, with consideration and iteratively. I live the way I believe I'm supposed to; existing versus living a life of constant doing. I am an artist, so this is how I express myself and show up in the world. I've recently started considering my work as Sadqah. I'm trying to make a person be seen, feel hope, and shed light on hope itself. So, my work is very tied to my spiritual practice. I have a disdain for discarding aimlessly. So I like to hold a thing and make it last. I work on my kids' old school notes, using them as a base. So my kids are a part of my work.

Editor's note: Sadqah, according to the Quran, is a voluntary offering that benefits the recipients.

Tahsine Al Hassane

Do you use ghee?

My parents were born in East Africa; my dad is from Uganda, my mom is from Kenya, and my family was born in Tanzania. Before that, we had roots in Gujarat and Muscat, and I believe we came from even more East. I'm sad to say that my first memory of ghee was when the world found out about it.

My first personal connection with ghee was with Ghlee. Ghee was not part of my vernacular or my mother's kitchen, though it was part of my grandmother's kitchen for a moment. You see, sometimes things get lost in a move. Though I don't have a tight connection to it, I could make a reconnection to ghee, and maybe this will be my push toward that movement.

What do self-care and wellness look like for you?

I enjoy the time that I have in the water. Wellness, to me, is taking a nice bath. And I try to make the most of it. I learned ways to add my water to make it more healing than it already is.

Being immersed in water feels healing, so I like to think of how I can improve that experience by enriching the water. I used to use Epsom salts, but I add in actual salts like sea salt or rock salt these days.

I like to layer in Bentonite clay—clays are good, natural hot springs are made by way of rock, and the clay mimics that. I add jasmine and castor oils, and sometimes even baking soda.

I love lighting incense and taking in beautiful smells. I keep the lights dim at the end of the day to respect my circadian rhythms—my phone is put away, and I avoid loud or bright spaces. The night is for rest, and the day is for doing or being.

Art by TahsinePiece by Tahsine

What is your current skincare routine?

I'm not a routine person. I go with the flow. Even with skincare, things are iterated. I add or take away as I need. So my routine changes as my skin tells me.

How do you like to spend your time?

My pace is slow. I spend a lot of my time resting. I always feel better when I take that time for myself. I've never been a hustle harder kind of person; it never sat well with me. Even my work has meditative aspects—I work with slow, deliberate movements. I do get caught up in the world, but I transmute this. We'd all be lost if we didn't have a place to call home or see the potential in things. So I try to protect my energy as best as I can. I know I can't give of myself if I'm worn out or haggard. I guess I still rage against the system, but I wouldn't call it raging. It's a quiet breath.

It's an exhale.

Follow and connect with Tahsine on Instagram
Banner image of Tahsine taken by Kieran Darcy

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