Copyright © 2023 – Zahidah Zeyton Millie – All Rights Reserved
I am a multidisciplinary, thematic artist whose work moves across the subjects of life and death, humanity and nature. Important influences on my work are poetry, mythology, history, science and philosophy.
Moving from one project to an entirely different one is an exciting challenge. Once my work on the idea becomes tangible, the project quickly grabs a life of its own, moving me along in its wake. The joy of expressing myself with colour is what inspired me to become a painter and sculptor. I have recently developed techniques in glass making and recording sounds of nature, including subsurface. I have authored a short, illustrated story to be published in late 2023. I collaborated with the artist Geraldine Chasard in the illustration work.
Emotions and a sense of responsibility have played an important role in the production of all my art projects. In our age of global warming the nation of Syria is hardly contributing to ways of reducing human damage to the environment. Rather, my country is actually causing more damage to Earth through the destruction of war and the massive movement of my fellow country people around the world. I have a message to tell our leaders and I want to do my part in protecting our earth.
My art practice is embodied in and with the mangrove forest (painting from a kayak) aiming to encourage a new way of seeing a native environment (mangroves) to encourage care and protection. I’ve led a mangroves campaign, Mangroves from the Water (MFTW), since 2013. I work with a variety of media to burnish mangroves with attention they deserve, both for their beauty and their ecological importance. My long, personal artistic journey and my art practice in and with the mangroves have influenced multimedia artists to participate in MFTW exhibitions and attracted local and international news media coverage. Our artistic efforts had a successful impact in the UAE and the beach that was behind the birth of our campaign is now reserved and officially named ‘Mangrove Beach’. We have planted a seed and the country announced significant mangroves preservation initiatives in 2020. The MFTW campaign has continued in Australia since 2017 and is the title of my current PhD at Deakin University.
I‘m originally from Syria and have lived in Syria, Lebanon and the UAE. I have undertaken three art residences: in the USA (2022), Italy (2010) and the UAE (2008). I have exhibited artworks in Lebanon, the UK, the UAE, Italy, the USA and Australia. I have a number of art collectors and my artwork is represented in prestigious locations in Lebanon, the UK, the UAE and Australia. I’mcurrently living in Australia with my family where I’m undertaking PhD studies. I proudly represented the UAE at the 2022 Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington DC.
Please visit www.mangrovesfromthewater.com for more information about my research and artwork.