Canan Budak / Hasan Özcan

Canan is one of the founders of the 13 Metrekare Art Collective. She has been coordinating the exhibitions of the Mardin Biennale. She took part in the establishment of both the Mardin Cinema Association and Merkezkaç Art Collective. Canan worked for the Mardin Museum Restoration and Conservation Laboratory and as a project coordinator for the Art Gallery exhibitions, between 2012-17. She has majored in sculpture and has an MA from Mardin Artuklu University Department of Painting with her thesis entitled “A Perspective on the Representation of Women in Mardin in the Context of Performance Art”. She participates in solo and group exhibitions on national and international platforms. Canan still lives in Mardin and works on performance and the memory of space. 

Hasan Özcan

Hasan Özcan started the art of coppersmith as an apprentice of his father Master Abdulhamit  when he was 8 years old. Master Hasan, who has been a coppersmith for 55 years, is also a registered artisan at the archives of the Ministry of Culture. He is a founding member of the ANELSANDER Association for Preservation and Development of Anatolian Handicrafts. He participated in Handicrafts Fairs in Los Angeles and Chicago in 2009 and Handicrafts Exhibitions in France and Belgium in 2013. 


Coppersmith is the art treating copper to transform it into daily items and decorative objects. A copper mine with ten thousand years of history was discovered in Diyarbakır, Çayönü. In Mardin, one of the closest cities to the copper mine, the art of coppersmith has an important place. Raw copper needs to be processed through certain phases in order to become treatable. The most important one of these phases is the heat treatment. Heat treatment is the process where copper is softened through heating, in order to be easily shaped into kitchenware or decorative items. After heat treatment, copper is transferred into various moulds. Then, bigger ones become ready for use while the small ones become ready for hammering. All the processes require heavy handwork and techniques like hammering, engraving and punching are practiced on copper. The patterns that are applied through those techniques generally reflect Mesopotamian symbols.


Throughout history, power mechanisms have continuously enslaved the female body. Within the politics of each era, women’s rights and freedom are always threatened both within the domestic environment, the house, and in public space. Especially in public space, women are being subject to assaults and violence that could result in death, because of their lifestyles or outfits. The worst being the domestic violence that occurs in supposed-to-be the safest place, home, and is kept secret because of the despair of women. In the end, gender inequality as a social, cultural and political construct, threatens women’s lives and prevents their existence in the social sphere. 

In the artwork “Shield” a woman’s dress (a shield) is designed from copper sheets as a wearable sculpture. Hard copper sheets are given form with heat treatment. The traditional motifs encircling the dress are printed by the copper master. During the production process, the artist, impressed and influenced by the artisan’s egalitarian statements on women’s rights, wrote an epigraph with printing technique on a copper plate that hides itself within the dress.