Compelling ceramics from Ashraf and Sue Hanna are the subject of a new exhibition at Rufford Craft Centre in May and June. Ashraf Hanna’s work is a fascinating dialogue between the techniques and forms of the ancient world and contemporary aesthetics. One of the most esteemed ceramicists working today, he revels in the meeting place between the precision of his designs and the spontaneity of the fire.
His most recent work explores the classic vessel form, particularly the effect of hiding or exposing the space within. Carved, burnished and smoke-fired, his linear forms and polished vessels are the product of laborious processes and meticulous finishing, yet they also reflect his interest in the chance processes of the kiln. As Ashraf says, ‘it is the flames which ultimately breathe life into the work.’
Sue Hanna takes inspiration from one of mankind’s most fundamental impulses. As she observes, ‘our self-reflection, which we try to penetrate, understand and love, never quite leaves us. This is why both the primitive man, and the child of the most sophisticated society, instinctively attempt to recreate their own image on a wall, or a piece of paper, in the sand or snow.'
Sue’s mask heads are her response to our continuing fascination with the human image. Her haunting portraits, carved directly into the clay, combine the freedom and energy of line drawings with high-fired stoneware.
For more information or to discuss individual pieces of work (see images below) contact Sue Hanna or Ashraf Hanna direct.