Artist Statement

I create a mood and feeling of dynamic tension in my work by playfully manipulating the planes and facets of the patterns against each other. The stresses that this creates help me to achieve the maximum impact within the overall design and also to push the boundaries of the material to its limits. When creating a piece, the most exciting moment for me is when my flat designs become dramatically transformed when charted over a structure and then taken to another level by heavily carving into it. The hue of the material body is crucial because I rarely use colour, I also rely on the piece itself to dramatise the tones and textures through the effects of light and shadow.

In my early work I was exploring the boundaries of my new found modus operandi, which was infused with Islamic influences drawn from heavily carved architecture. This led me to look to other examples of intricately carved and constructed buildings from all around the world. In addition, I was inspired by the repetitive motifs of pattern derived from the influences of North African surface design.

Delving deeper into these architectural influences and looking closer at structures of past and contemporary building styles, I discovered that I was also greatly intrigued by the internal space and the construction, which were articulated together on the external surface envelope. These relationships have informed my own work as I strive to unify not only internal and external forms but also the parts to the whole. In this respect I am reminded of the Greek principle of the Golden Section, namely that, the smaller is to the larger as the larger is to the whole.

Subsequently, my work was influenced by a new emphasis on the balance between masculine and feminine forms and contours. There appeared to be a distinct pattern of behaviour of the viewer’s emerging solely based on gender. In general, women gravitated towards the spherical forms with curvilinear contours whereas the squarer form with hard-edge contours tended to elicit more interest from men.

More recently I have become interested in cutting more dramatically in to the original form, sometimes to the point where the form begins to distort and becomes no longer recognisable as a geometric volume


  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • Her profound understanding of the geometric rules governing any given pattern, allow her to bend, or even break them.
    – Peter Randell-Page, Sculptor

  • 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

  • I find her work uplifting, I would never consider buying it solely as an investment
    – Eric Knowles (Ceramics Expert)

  • Halima Cassell is a maker of considerable versatility, who has extended her signature work in clay to a range of new materials, including marble, glass and porcelain
    – Andrew Lambirth, Art Critic - Spectator Magazine

  • 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.

  • She set very high standards for herself and was tireless in her efforts to reach them. After just three months she was able to carry out complex, compelling, delicate and dynamic work.
    – Helaine Blumenfeld OBE FRBS Dlitt

  • 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