Halima Cassell at Manchester Art Gallery

Over the last 11 months, Manchester Art Gallery has dedicated a large area of its ground floor gallery space to the sculptor and ceramicist Halima Cassell. I’m perhaps a little late in writing about the exhibition, given that her residency comes to an end in 6 days – on Sunday 5th January 2020, but even so, her work is so beautiful it’s definitely worth sharing!

I’ve visited the exhibition more than once, and during one of the gallery’s late evening openings (which happen once a month on a Wednesday) I even had the opportunity to hear her speak and watch her at work.

The exhibition is full of geometric patterns made from marble, bronze, wood, glass, concrete and clay from different countries around the world. The piece above is based on the Fibonacci sequence of numbers and is quite possibly one of my favourites!

The most striking thing for me was learning that all of these sculptures are created by hand. The symmetry and smoothness seems almost too perfect!

What was beautiful to see though, was a number of pieces on the exhibition that weren’t perfect – pieces that didn’t survive the kiln.

I loved seeing the grainy textures on this piece below where it broke.

I came away from this exhibition feeling like I wanted to buy something like this to admire in my own home! And actually, I spotted a couple of tiles by Halima Cassell for sale in the Manchester Art Gallery Shop, but I’m afraid I couldn’t justify the £480 price tag right now. A lot of the pieces on display were on loan as they were private commissions, so who knows, maybe one day I’ll commission a piece of my own!

This exhibition is on until Sunday 5th January 2020, at Manchester Art Gallery, entry is free and I’d highly recommend visiting, find out more here. Also be sure to visit Halima Cassell’s website to see more of her amazing work.

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