Witnessing Us by Solimar Miller
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Until March 6, 2023, one will be able to attend Solimar Miller‘s solo show Witnessing Us, which features her latest collection of artworks. Being held at XVA Gallery in Dubai, it pays tribute to Dubai’s nature, the city where the artist has been living for more than 25 years.

At the exhibition, there are 22 artworks (highly detailed drawings, paintings, and screen prints on silk, velvet or canvas) that depict sidr, samar, pomegranate, and other trees native to the Dubai region. Miller is very concerned about their destruction that is a result of rapid urbanization. “In early 2000, […] there were a lot more older trees around […]”, the artist says. “But over the years […] the landscape [changed] as construction increased and the number of trees went down […].” So she decided to document indigenous flora of the Emirates to raise awareness of it.

Solimar Miller, Witnessing Us (installation view). XVA Gallery, Dubai, 2023

Miller starts her art making process with attentively observing the trees she has chosen as her subjects. She makes a detailed sketch of the tree or/and photographs it and takes some of its leaves and bark as references. “I look around to see what the tree is witnessing”, the artist says. “[For example], how close is it to […] the construction sites impeding the soil near them? I wonder how long [the tree(s)] will be left to live unscathed by human interference.” To make screen prints, Miller scans her sketches, edits them, and prints them on transparent film. After that, they are transferred onto a fabric or canvas.

The exhibition makes one wonder who is witnessing whom. As the dominant species on earth, we are convinced we are the only ones witnessing events, but trees witness us and all what happens around them.

About the artist

Solimar Miller (born in 1969, San Juan, Puerto Rico) is a multidisciplinary artist, printmaker, and textile designer who resides in Dubai. She received her BFA degree in Textile/Surface Design from the Fashion Institute of Technology, New York, the USA, and studied illustration at Parsons School of Design, New York, the USA.

Solimar Miller, Milieu, 2021. Print on textile, 115 x 80 cm. Courtesy of the artist

In her art, Miller focuses on the natural world and climate change. Living in Dubai, she documents the beauty of the region’s trees. Using various mediums and printing techniques, the artist highlights the unique qualities of the indigenous trees and flora and draws public attention to how vulnerable they are to global warming and other ecological issues.

Miller’s artworks have been exhibited at the MEI Art Gallery, Middle East Institute (Washington D.C., the USA); Tashkeel Art Gallery, Sikka Art Festival, Festival of Arts Gallery, and the Capital Club of Dubai. Her art can be found in private collections and in luxury hotels around the globe. She has designed custom carpets for the Four Seasons Resort Dubai (Jumeirah Beach) and textiles for international brands and collaborated with respected designers.

To learn more about Witnessing Us, please visit the event’s official web page.

You may also be interested in visiting Ana Liz Cordero’s art studio in Dubai.