Ayda Bayruğ / Riva Ezilmez

Ayda graduated from Istanbul Aydın University, Faculty of Fine Arts, Department of Graphic Design in 2017. She trained as an intern at Tasarım Advertising Media Agency in 2014 and  BKM-Production / Organization in 2015. Since 2017 she has been working as a graphic designer at a number of state institutions and organizations. She participates in group exhibitions and art events on national and international platforms. She is working with linocut and serigraphy, and pursuing the Assyrian art of printing, a family tradition . She is one of the founders of Lelyo Assyrian Winery, producing Assyrian Wine in order to make Assyrian culture widely known. 

Riva Ezilmez

Riva Ezilmez learned the art of printing, a family tradition, from her grandmother Nasra Şimmes Hindi. Master Riva has been carrying out the art for 25 years, using the century-old wooden printing blocks inherited from her grandmother’s father.


Printing is a decorative art that is performed with wooden hand-carved blocks using madder to print handmade patterns and figures on cotton textile. In world history the art of printing is first encountered in decorative  wax, clay and wooden blocks made. It is known that in Mesopotamia wooden blocks are used to print on clay. Thus printing-colouring that is called “hetmo” in Assyrian, is an art of print blocks. In print-colouring technique, the surface of the printing block that was prepared beforehand dipped in dye, and pressed on a textile to form symmetric or repetitive patterns. Handmade printing blocks of walnut tree and madder are generally used. Church curtains of Assyrian printing-colouring art generally describe scenes from religious myths. Today’s developing technology affected the interest in printing like other handicrafts, and this art is also about to disappear. 


Female figure has been the symbol of the original sin since the beginning of time, since Eve feeding Adam the forbidden apple, without any racial, lingual or religious differentiation. Women have been marginalized for centuries being exposed to practices violating civil rights. Today, the female body is seen as a commodity, being subject to exploitation and condemned to disidentification.  

In this joint artwork. Saintesses, life stories of 4 women are stylized and depicted by thr artist and the artisan,  based on the church curtains that are called “parda di ito” in Assyrian. In the artwork, stories like a stepmother’s rejection of a girl from the mouth of whom a snake is pulled out; the homicide of Mort Şmuni, who does not bow to the king, before the eyes of his 7 children; the ostracization of Mary Magdalene being a prostitute, and St. Barbara’s being a victim of an unidentified murder as a result of her turning from Paganism to Christianity, are depicted. The artisan glorified those women by decorating the surrounding area of the depictions of these tragedies with motifs printed with the print colouring method.