Ilono Dhaye

Ilono Dhaye is an object design composed of 3 parts. The first two parts of Ilono Dhaye were produced from Mardin Limestone and the other part was produced from copper by local artisans in Mardin. Ilono Dhaye means the Tree of Life in Assyrian language. One of the earliest beliefs, the first observations of the tree of life, It is found in Lower Mesopotamia in B.C. third century.

You can find the whole process of my work in Mardin-Mesopotamia here.

Tree of Life is one of the common cultural element of human that world cultures know and love.

The tree is the symbol of fertility, immortality, luck, fertility, health, and getting rid of the disease in world cultures.

Communication with God is established through the tree. Trees have been a natural form for human being, symbolizing the spiritual, physical, and everlasting sanctity of the other world and life. The basic qualification of the tree is the “eternal life and the source of life”.

The first  part of Ilono Dhaye symbolizes the subterranean. The form of the pot extends gradually to the subterranean.

The second part, the vase, represents the earth. It is located between the subterranean and the sky. The vase is a symbol containing eternal life water.

The third part, the bowl, represents the sky. Like every living person, it always shows the tendency and longing to reach up, to get out, to sit down and to reach the place where to give the fruit.


I felt deeply that there were an inevitable inspiration and potential in this antique city. I wanted to investigate the craft here, to re-think about it. I completed my process here with an object design working with local Mardin stone which surrounds the city all around and I decided to adopt this natural stone to an object on a smaller scale Many times I asked myself how do we have to engage this traditional knowledge with contemporary language which the world needs.


All photos are taken by me.

Many thanks to
Mardin Museum’s Director: Nihat Erdoğan
Sakıp Sabancı Mardin Museum’s Director: Necdet İnal
Metin Ezilmez
Tacettin Toparlı
Hayri Usta
Abdullah Bilen
for their help.

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