Much of the work of Pakistan-born British artist Halima Cassell (1975) springs from a repeated pattern within a circle. It combines strong geometric elements with recurrent motifs and architectural principles. Cassell’s varied, multi-cultural background is tangibly present in every piece. Her carved and fired ceramics utilize clays from around the world, resulting in a truly universal object that speaks to every human: from clay, we come and to clay, we return. Her dramatic lines and angles likewise manifest the universal language of numbers. This art refuses to stand still, sometimes even creating an unsettling sense of movement.
To achieve these effects she uses heavily grogged clay that allows her to work on a large scale and utilize relatively thick surfaces carved to the desired depth. She concentrates on simple forms to maximize the impact of the complex surface patterns in combination with strongly contrasting contours. The result is a sometimes-fearful symmetry, yet an architecture where the play of light is used to marvelous effect. This is work with compelling drama and dynamism employing complex surface patterns in combination with heavily contrasting contours and themes and variations. If this were music, it would be Bach at his best.