POT OF THE MONTH
SABLE VESSEL FORM
We have chosen this piece by Ashraf Hanna for several reasons. It is one of a number of pots in the current show – CERAMICS NOW - which I have found quite mesmeric. It has great presence; the cushion like quality of the work gives it an ‘otherness’ which I find difficult to define. Secondly, there have been more conversations with visitors to the gallery about this piece than any other. I should also add a statement of the obvious - it is technically superb.
Ashraf’s new vessels are very different from the familiar Hanna sculptural pieces which are tightly controlled and so often geometrically patterned. Here we have the antithesis; organic simplicity, elegance of line and neutral colour with a hint of shading to emphasise the form. Its shape-shifting quality from the rectangular base and vertical to the ovoid body is nothing less than alchemical. This is hand building of the highest order – and yet how it is made is irrelevant. This is ceramic art at its finest.
You will surmise that Stuart, our Ceramic Curator is smitten with this wonderful object – you would be right!