Leyla Keskin / Erkan Muratoğlu

Leyla graduated from Anadolu University, Preschool Teaching and Dicle University, Faculty of Fine Arts, Department of Art Teaching. She has been a graduate student at Mardin Artuklu University Visual Communication and Design Graduate Program. She works around the concepts of space-time-memory and belonging. Recently her work and research focuses on Ilısu Dam and Dicle Valley in the contexts of Anthropocene and Ecological Mourning. She currently works as a visual arts teacher at an education institution and additionally works on Visual Arts and Drama with children between 7-16 years of age.

Erkan Muratoğlu

Erkan Muratoğlu has been carrying out the art of wood engraving for 20 years and learned the art from his father Master Sadettin who was trained under Assyrian masters. He has been designing and producing modern furniture, utilizing and preserving 400 years old patterns.

That day, there I knew, every trace in this city is an ache-in-itself.


Wood engraving is a decorative art that is performed by engraving plant and animal figures drawn on wood. The patterns are formed using low and high engraving techniques and decoupage is used for the surrounding area. Wood chisel is used to form the patterns generally from boxwood, pine, pear, walnut, willow, oak and ebony trees. Wood engraving is known as an Armenian and Assyrian Art in Mardin, a city that has been hosting different civilizations throughout history. Patterns that are used today are the original ones that were developed four hundred years ago. There are three wood engraving masters in Mardin, who maintain the art by producing furniture like wooden doors, minbars, diwans, couches, bridal chests and mirrors. As it is the case for other handicrafts, wood engraving has also been giving in to advances in technology.


Tigris River Valley extends along an area of cultural and natural assets including Hasankeyf. The valley which consists of high and steep cliffs and narrow canyons as well as vast wetlands is home to various species. As a result of the Ilısu Dam and Hydroelectric Plant Project,  108 settlements, numerous historical sites and buildings, and certain animal and plant species in Tigris River Valley are about to disappear. In the Anthropocene, these destructions of humankind affect the ecological balance of the earth in an irremediable way.

“Tofan” is a joint artwork of the artist and the artisan and means “great destruction” in the artist’s mother tongue. The plants and animals in Tigris River Valley are lost lives of the dam and Hydroelectric plant project construction. In the work of art “Tofan”, these lost lives are represented by drawings engraved on a wooden door, in the concept of Ecological Mourning. Through a fictive expression, a journey to the world of these organisms is dreamed.