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Light Structures: New work by Halima Cassell opens at Blackwell, The Arts & Crafts House
Halima Cassell, Nautilus, 2012. Hand carved Carra marble, 55 x 48 x 30cm© The Artist. Photography © Tony West.

CUMBRIA.- A solo exhibition by one of the UK’s most exciting ceramic artist, designer and maker, Halima Cassell. 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. This exhibition contains a new body of work, featuring wall pieces, sculptured objects and vessels, which have been made in response to Blackwell, and reflects Cassell's enthusiastic response to this beautiful house.

The Lakeland Arts Trust is committed to working with contemporary artists inviting them to interpret Blackwell in new and innovative ways. This exhibition has offered Cassell such an opportunity. Cassell was inspired by the combination of geometry and organic forms which reflect many of the spatial and decorative elements at Blackwell.’ - Gordon Watson, Chief Executive

The exhibition is supported by a new publication with an essay by Andrew Lambirth who was asked to write the essay because of his own interest in this highly-original artist. As she explained to Lambirth, ‘Blackwell's external modesty is belied by the splendid simplicity of its interior, and the endless variation of detailing on offer to the attentive eye.’

‘Cassell's 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

‘The Blackwell exhibition is a exciting and wonderful show for me in which the work I produce is entirely in response to the house. I will respond both to the unique and distinctive craftsmanship of the house, and to the broader Arts & Crafts principle of drawing inspiration from and reinterpreting indigenous vernacular traditions of building.’ - Halima Cassell

‘Cassell has created this beautiful body of work having spent many private hours sketching, photographing and simply absorbing the special atmosphere of Blackwell. This year-long relationship from research, through development, to production has been fascinating to witness, the exhibition will include some of Cassell’s drawings revealing her inspiration.’ - Helen Watson, Director Exhibitions and Collections

In addition, Cassell has made a unique series of five wallpaper designs. These white on white papers are textured and embossed, presenting different levels of surface to capture and reflect the light. The wallpaper has been developed to her design by Graham & Brown aspects of which will be on display.

Born in 1975 in Pakistan, brought up in Manchester and now living in Blackburn, Lancashire, Halima’s varied, multicultural background is tangibly present in her work. A naturally 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.

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