Artist Statement

My work explores themes such as my familial history, regional traditions, and personal experiences through forms of storytelling. By analyzing my own identity and what it means to be a woman within a predominantly Islamic setting I hope to uncover elements that are often stigmatized within my surroundings. I believe everything has meaning in it, I search through created symbols to understand why my surrounding sisters take the precautions they do and to retrace generational coping habits.

I am half Turkish and half American and was born in Adana, Turkey and primarily raised an hour away in a port city named Mersin. The region in which I was raised sits on the Eastern side of the country and is known for its conservative behaviors. I examine qualities of my past and present Islamic devoutness to narrate both the comfort and discomforts within my life. My work attempts to pull apart the strands of my surrounding culture, society, and the confusions of my own identity to understand my presence within its environment.  By weaving through the stories of my Mothers, Grandmothers, and my own histories, I try to decipher the residues that my surroundings hold in the present day.


Dilara Miller is an artist based between Mersin, Turkey and Colorado who is currently a BFA candidate at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Post graduation she will be attending Northern Illinois University to pursue a Master in Fine Arts. Dilara has had her work apart of many exhibitions such as the Import/Export exhibition in Kent, Ohio, Speedball’s 2019 New Impressions exhibition, and the Rise and Pull exhibition in West Virginia. Dilara’s work critique’s and reflects on the social/cultural effects of being Turkish/American as well as being a woman in Turkish society. Her work uses her family’s history, the regional traditions, surrounding history, and religion to narrate these themes through created symbols.

Thesis Artwork