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About the Artist

Born in 1975 in Pakistan, brought up in Lancashire and now living in Shropshire, Halima's varied, multi-cultural background is tangibly present in her work.

Natural creativity presented itself at an early age and was nurtured to fruition as Halima carved her way through an art-based education: an undergraduate degree in 1997 and an MA in 2002.

The culmination of this process is Halima’s precociously mature work. Fusing her Asian roots with a fascination for African pattern work and her deep passion for architectural geometry, Halima’s work is intense yet playful, structured yet creative; substantial yet dynamic and invariably compelling in its originality.

"Where does Halima’s pre-occupation with carved form spring from? What are the roots of her fascination with carved space? These all-embracing obsessions of bringing into being the poetry of faceted forms are her creations.
They are buried in layers of forgotten history, like subcutaneous memories waiting to be plumbed; like the ocean deep they float in darkness waiting to be revealed by the light. Halima carves out parts of her history, an exorcism of thought forms, a compulsion to make manifest the intangible, transmuting it into something hard and permanent. Like life, everything begins with the energy of a thought.

Halima forms are energetic expressions of her psyche linking two cultures, like left and right hemispheres of the brain; logic and reason married to irrationality in order to formulate a style of working. Like slightly shifting sands her work refuses to stand still.
 Halima wants her work to be on the edge of reason yet speaking with an eloquence that is understood by the universal consciousness altered states yet accessible tectonic plates in dialogue, setting up tensions, the Ley Lines of her world made visible within the forms and folds of her beloved earth."

Written by David Coggins

 

Watch a short documentary of Halima here.


  • Her signature material is clay, which she moulds and carves with natural authority and no little dexterity. Her crisply cut and satisfying forms live on in the mind… She is a force of nature.
    – Andrew Lambirth, Art Critic - Spectator Magazine

  • Her main preoccupation and sculptural impulse is to penetrate beneath the skin of the form to reveal the structure within – the crystalline seed of the stone, or the skeleton-like armature she perceives within the clay. She does not carve exteriors but reveals interiors – the folded abstract inner landscapes of her singular and highly imaginative vision.
    – Andrew Lambirth, Art Critic - Spectator Magazine

  • While working, Cassell becomes deeply involved in each piece to the point where she is unaware of her surroundings even watching her work on a piece for a few minutes, it is obvious that the process commands all her attention
    – Emmanuel Cooper

  • Halima’s work demonstrates incredible dedication and energy; one thing is clear, she will be among the future pathfinders and leaders.
    – Alan Grieve, Chairman, The Jerwood Foundation

  • The geometry and the mathematics involved in Halima’s work have the same effect on me as listening to Bach: she manages to get the same essential harmony of shape, form and detail. Her pieces are deeply fashioned, which is unusual in ceramics
    – Eric Knowles (Ceramics Expert)

  • Working mostly with ‘naked clay’, that is without the use of glaze or slip, Cassell first carefully carves and then smoothes and burnishes to remove any blemishes, so virtually making the surface ‘ disappear’, leaving the form clean and prominent
    – Emmanuel Cooper

  • …Although Cassell is creating in different media – and respecting the unique characteristics of her material while doing so – she is also intent on discerning just how bronze, glass, marble and clay can ‘speak the same language
    – Ian Wilson

  • It is not easy to put into words the effect that Halima Cassell’s remarkable ceramic sculptures have on you when you first encounter a well displayed section of her work
    – Zachary Kingdom

  • Beautiful – amazing to see someone work with such a variety of material to create such stunning, intricate pieces. I can imagine them out in the world, near water and nature. Beautiful, thank you.

  • I love this artist’s work. How she keeps her molten flowing themes through different media – stone, concrete, wood and even glass. Long to touch them. What a unique eye and hand she has. Wonderful.
    – Maureen Lepman