Zahidah Zeytoun Millie donated her artwork to Wasit Wetland Center, Sharjah

Zahidah donated her work Mangroves from the Water 3D (2015) to the Wasit Wetland Center in Sharjah.

Zahidah created a 3D sculpture of her experience in the mangrove after finding this piece of a mangrove tree destroyed by the local farmers and fisherman. Mixed with found objects from the Umm Al Quwain mangroves, they are set in a pool of clear resin to simulate the water and draped with natural wools reminiscent of the mossy grass/seaweeds found on site.

Zahidah Zeytoun Millie donated ‘The Self’ to the Sharjah American International School in UAQ

Zahidah donated her artwork The Self to educate children in local schools about the mangroves through art-activism. She explains her work here:

The Self, ‏ acrylic, resin chopped tree, mask (my face and hands) heavy knife used to chop trees, wire, wood, plaster, leaves, cardboard, inner shoe, 2017. 

This art work talks about my feelings toward the daily destruction of the mangroves, which I witnessed daily while going kayaking or running in Umm Al Quwain in the UAE.  I had a period of time when I felt I was one of those mangroves trees especially when I painted or sketched them.  I spent a long time with the mangroves and I feel I know them very well! I felt their pain too! 

I faced waves of difficulty while working to protect the mangroves, and yet so much support, too.   

For this art work I borrowed the myth of Daphne turning into a laurel tree!  There is a certain satisfaction and a beauty, I feel, of becoming a tree!  I wish I could be a tree! 

The Self is located at the Sharjah American International School in Umm Al Quwain.

Marawed Magazine focuses on the mangroves as part of Emirati Heritage

We are grateful to be part of this important magazine called Marawed and fortunate to be working with Dr. Abdulaziz Al Musallam, Chairman of the Sharjah Institute of Heritage and Editor-in-Chief.

Plants and trees – nature in general- is extremely important to the Emirati culture and prominent in Islamic traditions and teachings from the Holy Qu’ran.

Marawed focuses on the mangroves as part of the the UAE’s natural landscapes and elevate its importance to that of the better-known Date Palms and Ghaf trees spread across the lands.

Please do read the magazine (download the link above) for the interesting information on the local mangroves- from its medicinal uses since 4th Century BC, the botanical and biological science behind it, and the valuable contribution these mangrove trees make to the environment.

The Sharjah Institute of Heritage is a great supporter of Mangroves from the Water, and we thank them for their continued assistance and participation.

Listen to our podcast! Masainakum Masoonah

Mangroves from the Water curator, team leader and artist Zahidah Zeytoun Millie runs a podcast called Masainakum Masoonah – an Arabic saying meaning “Good evening to you, Good evening to us”

Zahidah in her radio studio at Pulse FM, Geelong Australia

In this week’s episode, Zahidah chats to Jacqui Dreessens from their kayaks in Barwon Heads!

Jacqui is a dancer/choreographer participating with a much anticipated performance at the Mangroves from the Water exhibition, 26th July in Geelong.

Listen to the podcast here:

Passion for the Mangroves – Kerrie Taylor

We are so happy to have Kerrie Taylor as the latest artist to join our team at Mangroves from the Water.

Kerrie shared these work- in- progress photos while doing research in the mangroves of the Darwin beaches.

She travels there every year from Victoria for further research on pneumatophores and mangroves.

What is a pneumatophore you might ask?:

noun, plural: pneumatophores. (botany) A specialized aerial root, such as in certain mangrove species, that stick up out of the soil and covered with many lenticels for gaseous exchange. (zoology) The air sac or float in certain siphonophores. Supplement. In botany, pneumatophores are a type of aerial root.

I must admit myself, these aerial roots astounded me at my first sight of them in the Umm Al Quwain mangroves (UAE). It is hard not to get obsessed over them.

Here is a sneak peek at the textile-based artworks by Kerrie Taylor inspired by the mangroves

Introducing Helen Martin

Helen Martin

Helen Martin gives us a glimpse into her studio with her work in progress. She explains her mediums – which includes homemade beeswax- and the inspiration she draws from the mangroves from various sites in Australia. She particularly appreciates the inter-tidal moments when you can spot all the little creatures roaming their habitat.

Please enjoy the video and pass by the Mangroves from the Water exhibition to view her work!

Nicola Cerini tells her mangrove discovery story

In the build up to our upcoming exhibition (26 July!), we check in with some of our participating artists on how they are preparing their works.

This story from Nicola Cerini about her inspiration and work process is particularly enjoyable:

— “The work was inspired by a couple of fun kayaking trips through the Mangroves at Barwon Heads in Victoria with all the artists in 2019 and 2020 arranged by the curator Zahidah. Despite getting pretty wet in my leaky kid-size kayak on my first trip I went back for more. On the next trip in a grown-up sized kayak I managed to take lots of photos which helped me decide how I wanted to represent what I’d seen. It’s such a unique ecosystem down there in the Mangroves. I had no idea the Barwon Heads Mangroves were there until I became involved in this project. In my early twenties I spent some time on Lizard Island in far north Queensland and also on the mainland and was fascinated by these murky mysterious landscapes that came and went with the tide. I’d always associated Mangroves with a tropical climate so it was exciting to find that we had our own cold climate Mangroves very close to home. 

I was drawn to the various textures and layers from the water, up through the muddy root systems that almost reached the low lying branches of the large Mangrove trees. There were beautiful light spaces filtering through the branches often creating silhouettes and bands of horizontal colours in the distance representing the sky and banks of green brackish friendly plants. The contrast of the solid ancient Mangrove trunks against the delicate leaf and flower silhouettes was striking. Looking into these landscapes was like exploring a new world, exciting!

My work will be printed on linen and there will be two pieces, both 1.4 x 2m.–

A photo of the mangroves taken by Nicola from her kayak
Here is a sneak peek of a close up detail of one of Nicola’s artworks inspired by the mangroves which she will present at the Mangroves from the Water exhibition
Here is a short video by Nicola in her studio..

Mangroves from the Water opens on 26 July 2021, Gordon Gallery, Geelong, Victoria, Australia

The Girl Who Fell In Love With The Mangroves, A Family Video Story by Geraldine Chansard

Geraldine Chansard’s sculpture Woman from the Mangroves is the catalyst for the creation of the video project The girl who fell in love with the mangroves.

A crowdfunding campaign has been created in aide of the logistics involved for Geraldine to participate in the Mangroves from the Water touring exhibition in Australia this year.

The girl who fell in love with the mangroves , is a tale taken from real events. Through a conversation with Pauline Dupin, inspired the writing of a moving tale. Coming from France to the Emirates (RAK- UAQ) they had gathered a team of local participants to the play the roles of the girl, the fisherman and the robber…

You will have to wait for the final product to find out what happens!

The project to make a video was born with the director Pauline Dupin who grew up like Geraldine in Beauce .

To participate in the crowdfunding and for more information on Geraldine and this project, please visit:

Mangroves in the spotlight for UAE National Day

Mangroves from the Water planted a seed during 2014 -2017 through their touring exhibition in the UAE and the 2017 Mangroves Festival. We are very happy to see that the mangrove seed we planted in the UAE has turned into a tree.

See this article in The National newspaper about the importance of the mangroves and how it will take centre stage during the UAE National Day celebrations

The National newspaper, 18 November 2020