Baran Aykutbay / Selahattin Babat

Baran is a third year undergraduate student at Mardin Artuklu University, Faculty of Fine Arts, Department of Painting. In 2020 he participated at the group exhibition of the Department of Painting students entitled “Corridor”. He also participated in the online group exhibition named “Stone Sketches” at the Gallery Artuklu of Mardin Artuklu University Faculty of Fine Arts in 2021.

Selahattin Babat

Selahattin Babat who is a forging master, learned the art under the apprenticeship of Assyrian Cırcıs Vırvara Master. Master Selahattin is the last forging master treating the knockers, straps and nails of Mardin’s historic doors.


One of Anatolia’s productive states, the Hittites, were the first to process iron into various forms and involve it actively in daily life. Considering the conditions of production especially when forging agricultural tools or war tools as shields or armours, the art is occasionally perceived as a deific one. Iron that is shaped by softening in hellfire, forging, bending or piercing, becomes a part of daily life in Mardin, transformed into door latches, door handles, horseshoes, chains, keys or railings. The art of forging, which has a deep-rooted history and which contributes deeply to the creative acts of shape-giving and transformation in humanity’s history, is facing the danger of extinction due to technological development and industrialization. Today in Mardin, there exists only one master who carries on with the art of forging.


“Memory Ring” focuses on the form and cultural context of forged iron, which has been a basic element that identifies with the architectural fabric of the city. But forging, a craft embodying monumental and cultural values, has become one of the disappearing crafts due to the challenges of the process, unfair financial gain, decrease in demand due to technological and industrial development and decreasing number of apprentices. 

In the artwork “Memory Ring” window rails are formed into the shape of metal bracelets as totemic objects. The work of art is installed in the exhibition space as an architectural element. It blends the craft of the artisan and a conceptual object into a work of art. The artist attempts to place a craft object into the collective memory by literally placing it in a new field of experience. In doing so, he draws attention to the occurence of an irreversible loss in the original architectural fabric of the city, with any new production of some sort after the disappearance of the craft.