"Artists … reveal more about themselves than most politicians and often know more about themselves. This is why their testimony is historically so valuable"

  [J. Berger, About Looking]





Curriculum Vitae



CV Zahidah Zeytoun Millie





2008 to 2010 - Master of Visual Arts, Monash University, Melbourne  

1994 to 1998 - Bachelor of Fine Art, Lebanese University, Beirut

1992 to 1994 - Certificate Course in Painting and Sculpture, Fine Arts Centre of Lattakia

1988 to 1992 - Bachelor of Trade and Economics, Tishreen University, Lattakia



Volunteer member with Humans in Geelong

Barwon Estuary Project, Diversitat, organising and running a radio show called ‘Masainakum Masoonah’ at Community Radio 94.7 FM the Pulse.



Environment Festival Organiser


Mangroves from the Water Festival 2017, Khor Umm Al Quwain, UAE, 8-11 March


In partnership with the Umm Al Quwain Government in association with the Sharjah Higher Colleges of Technology, Wasit Wetland Reserves and UAE ministries and schools. Achieved a partnership with the UAQ Government to host fine art, music, heritage and scientific exhibitions, workshops, tours and art competitions along with sporting events (walking and traditional rowing) in location in the mangroves over four days to raise awareness of the beauty and ecological importance of the mangroves regions of the UAE in order to protect them. Lead the Mangroves from the Water Festival 2017 team.

Please see Mangroves Festival 2017 booklet to download:





Mangroves from the Water Exhibition during the Mangroves Festival 2017, Umm Al Quwain, 18-21 March 2017


Mangroves from the Water UAE series

New York University of Abu Dhabi, Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi, Emirates Arts Society, Umm Al Quwain National Museum, thejamjar Dubai, October 2015 to March 2016.

Multi-media: painting, film, installations, sculpture, short stories.

Sought & negotiated sponsorship for the entire series from the Environment Agency- Abu Dhabi.

Prepared & coordinated all arrangements for 10 artists.

Liaised & negotiated with artists, galleries & sponsors regarding budgeting, installation, accommodation, tours, timings & placement.

Coordinated marketing including interviews with artists for MBC Arabia TV & national newspapers.

Produced the exhibition booklet.

Managed all sales at front of house.

Organised inhouse sketching.  Organised & lead sketching from kayak workshops and boat tours in the Umm Al Quwain mangroves.  

Participated as an artist.






Humans in Geelong Expo, Deakin Waterfront, Mangroves from the Water exhibition including a speech about the mangroves, 7 October



Bellarine Art Trail, the Uniting Church, Queenscliff, Victoria 4-5th November

Mangroves from the Water Exhibition, Mangroves Festival 2017, Umm Al Quwain, March



Connection, Steps Gallery, Lygon St. Melbourne, August/September

Mangroves from the Water, The Jam Jar Gallery, Dubai, 14-23 March

As an environmentalist I curated the ‘Mangroves from the Water’ exhibition project, October 2015 to March 2016. A touring multimedia exhibition project - watercolour sketches, film, photography, sculpture, installation art, folklore stories. The exhibition moved from Abu Dhabi, to Sharjah, to Umm Al Quwain, and finally Dubai.  As part of the project Zahidah hosted sketching workshops on a kayak and boat tours in the mangroves of Umm Al Quwain. 



Mangroves from the Water, Umm Al Quwain Museum, Umm Al Quwain, 11-19 December

Mangroves from the Water, Emirates Fine Arts Society, Sharjah, 12-30 November

Mangroves from the Water, Environment Agency Headquarters, Al Mamoura Building, Abu Dhabi, 1-6 November

Mangroves from the Water, New York University – Project Space Gallery, Abu Dhabi, 22-28 October



Expanding Horizons, Salwa Zeidan Gallery, Abu Dhabi, UAE, June-September

Alliance Francaise, ’Connection’, Dubai, UAE, November

Tashkeel in ‘Sikka Art Fair 2014’, Tashkeel House, Dubai, UAE, March

RAK Art Festival, National Museum of Ras Al Khaimah, Ras Al Khaimah, UAE, February



Tashkeel in ‘Sikka Art Fair 2013’, Tashkeel House, Dubai, UAE, March

'Women in Art IX', Courtyard Gallery, Dubai, UAE, November

'Salon des Refuses'. Happenstance Gallery, London, England, June

'Ras Al Khaimah from the Mangroves', National Museum of Ras Al Khaimah, UAE, March

'Women in Art VIII', Courtyard Gallery, Dubai, UAE, February



'Zahidah' curated by Rodney Forbes, Switchback Gallery, Monash University, Gippsland Campus, Melbourne, Australia, 11 July - 4 August



‘Between Bodies’ opened by the international artist Stelarc, Monash Prato, Italy, July

Tracking the Emirates, Contemporary Art Exhibition’Swiss Art Gate UAE, Ras Al Khaimah, UAE, April



From Al Safa to Starchitecture’(Solo), Higher Colleges of Technology, Ras Al Khaimah, UAE



Majlis Gallery, Dubai, UAE, December

'Impressions'(Solo), Hilton Ras Al Khaimah, Ras Al Khaimah, UAE, November



'Impressions'(Solo), Hilton Ras Al Khaimah, Ras Al Khaimah, UAE, February



Majlis Gallery, Dubai, UAE, December

‘Creativity’, Sharjah Art Precinct, Handicapped Guardians Association, Sharjah, UAE, April

Majlis Gallery, Dubai, UAE, March

'The 21st Exhibition for Artists', Sharjah Art Museum, Sharjah, UAE, January



Hilton Fujairah, April

‘Expressions of Faces’, Sharjah Art Museum, Sharjah, UAE, April

‘The 20th Exhibition for Artists’, Sharjah Art Museum, Sharjah, UAE, March



‘Fujairah in Art’ (Solo), Hilton Fujairah, Fujairah, UAE, December



Forum de Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon, May

Beit Al-Fen, Tripoli, Libya, February



UNESCO Centre, Beirut, Lebanon, April



Syrian Cultural Centre, Damascus, Syria, August






Nature Volve Magazine (Issue 1), ‘Mangroves from the Water’, 11 July 2018.

Ocean Wise magazine, ‘the Arab Guardian of the Mangroves’, 26 July 2018.

Queenscliffe Herald, ‘Mangroves from the Water, Zahidah’, 18 April 2017.

Humans in Geelong Website and Social Media, ‘Mangroves from the Water, Zahidah’.

Radio interview with Pakinam Amer, Special Edition; Mangrove warriors, December, 2017.

Official Exhibition Blog, Mangroves from the Water (2015/2017)

The Mangroves Festival 2017 selected press

Hoffert, B.  Essay on Connection an exhibition with Cheryl Osborne, July, 2016.

Todorova, V. Umm Al Quwain mangroves illegally cut down by 'camel farm labourers'. The National. 4 February, 2016. 

Stafford, A. Guardians of the Mangroves. Selections Magazine. 29 February, 2016.

Todorova, V. Artwork inspired by the beauty of Umm Al Quwain’s mangroves. The National. 2 August, 2015.

Seaman, A. Syrian artist in Umm Al Quwain paints with the use of brushes, canvas – and a kayak. The National. 18 August, 2015.

Anna Seaman Blog. Exploring  the UAE’s Coastline with Art. 1 October, 2015.

Al Ittihad Newspaper. عين. October 5, 2015.

New York University Abu Dhabi Art Gallery presents: Mangroves from the Water. 22-28 October, 2015.

Imagine Science Films. “Mangroves from the Water” Exhibit Swirls into the NYUAD Project Space for 1 Week. October, 2015.

Mangrove Action Project: Exploring the UAE’s coastline with art. 8 October, 2015. 

Al Ittihad Newspaper: مهمة عاجلة من أجل شجر القرم October 25, 2015.

Madame Magazine. L’Art au secours des mangroves des EAU. Novembre, 2015: p.66-69.

Global Art Daily. November, 2015.

Gulf News 24/7.Mangroves from the Water, Art Exhibition Opening. 12 November, 2015.

WAM Emirates News Agency.  الإمارات للفنون التشكيلية تنظم معرض "شجر القرم من الماء" في الشارقة  November 15, 2015.

Al Ittihad Newspaper. شجر القرم من الماء» معرض متعدد الوسائط في الشارقة. November 17, 2015.

Emarat Alyoum.  فنانين يعرضون لوحاتهم في مقر التشكيليين الإماراتية "شجر القرم من الماء" .... اتصل بالتراث الشعبي الإماراتي . November 21, 2015.

Hoffert, B. Introduction: Bernard Hoffert introduces Zahidah in the context of Middle Eastern Art. November, 2014.

Seaman, A. Keeping Art afloat. The National. 19 August, 2014.

Nazy Beglary. In Conversation with H.E Zaki Nusseibeh. Harper’s Bazar Art, Issue 12, March/April, 2014. 

Latrobe Valley Express.Playing Host to Arabian Gulf Artist. 26 July, 2012: p.34.

Hoffert, B. Zahidah in Perspective: Bernard Hoffert introduces 'Zahidah' in the context of Middle Eastern Art. June, 2012.

Swiss Art Gate UAE. Tracking the Emirates, Art Exhibition. Ras Al Khaimah,2010,

Free Spirit. The Art Scene in RAK. RAK Free Trade Zone Magazine. Ras Al Khaimah, Issue 5, May/June, 2010: p.34.

Off Campus Connection. Zahidah Zeytoun Millie. Caulfield: Monash University, Issue 5, Jun/Jul, 2009: p.6.

Mavely, M. Art Exhibition Highlights RAK Heritage, Culture. The Gulf Times. Dubai, 13 Feb, 2004.

Khaldie, S. Openingof Exhibition for Syrian Artist in Ras Al Khaimah. Al Khaleej Al Araby. Dubai, 12 Feb, 2004.

Ahmed, A. 33 Local Artists Display Works at Exhibition. Gulf News. Dubai, 22 Mar, 2002.

Tabloid. Celebrating Arabia. Gulf News. Dubai, 15 Dec, 2002.

Raha, S. Arabian Treasures. Gulf News. Dubai, 3 Mar, 2002.

Al Dahahn, N. Zahidah Zeytoun: Art, an expression of all that happens around us. Arab News. Dubai, 5 Jan, 2001.

Shaghouri, T. Fujairah in Focus at Art Show. Gulf News. Dubai, 11 Dec, 2000.

Al Khaleej Al Araby. Hamad Bin Saif Opens Art Exhibition.  Dubai, 3 Dec, 2000.

Kalish, G. The Second Exhibition Youth Painters at UNESCO Club. Different styles united by “Creativity and Variety”. Al Safeer Al Araby.  Beirut, 26 Jul, 1996.





Higher Colleges of Technology, Ras Al Khaimah, UAE, June-August 2008





RAK Hospital, Swiss Art Gate UAE, Ras Al Khaimah, since April 2010, They All Want the Tallest Skyscraper, permanent display.

RAK Free Trade Zone, Ras Al Khaimah, UAE, since 2004, Impression 3.

Fujairah Municipality, UAE, since 2000, Bull Fighting 2.



Artist's Statement


I rely on two characteristics of art to inform my work: as a means to inform on ideas that matter, and art’s universality.  The joy of expressing myself with colour is what inspired me to become a painter.  I work upon different media: sculpture, ceramic, paper and canvas.  I have used embroidery, stamps, henna stenciling, post cards, shells and stones in much of my recent work.  I like to add fragments to the canvas as they help personalise the spiritual feeling of my use of colour.  I also work from a small kayak, surrounded by mangroves and the sights, sounds, smells all connecting me to my work.  Back on land it is classical music that keeps me focused on my work.  But I move around a lot, and my studio can be out on the mountains just as often as at home or in the mangroves.  

As a thematic artist my work moves across the subjects of life and death, freedom, humanity and nature, influenced by poetry as well as elements of mythology and philosophy.  

Moving from one project to an entirely different one is an exciting challenge.  However, once my work on the idea becomes tangible the project quickly grabs a life of its own, moving me along in its wake.  Emotions have played an important role in the production of all my art work.  



Mangroves from the Water


Painting from a kayak in ‘Mangroves from the Water’ is an opportunity to express the delicate balance between nature and human progress. Mangroves provide great rejuvenating energy as they are nurseries of many hidden lives: fishlings, birds, turtles, colourful crabs and more. Yet just over the fringe of the tree cover is the bustle of the encroaching urban life.  I have found the mangroves a source of power, beauty, energy and simplicity. 

The production process has required many kayaking trips to the mangroves. I have used water colours and different types of paper.  I play with the form, lines, colour and textures to create the effects of natural energy, playfulness, softness and depth. Emotions have also played an important role in the production of this series; the process of painting is itself a kind of meditation.