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Ashraf Hanna

(Egyptian/British b.1967)

Ashraf Hanna, an Egyptian-born British artist, finds inspiration in the ancient pottery forms of his homeland, juxtaposing classical aesthetics with contemporary artistic vision. Currently based in Pembrokeshire, West Wales, Ashraf's artistic journey is a testament to the transformative power of observation, introspection, and the creative process.

Growing up in Egypt, Ashraf was immersed in a world where pottery forms bore witness to the passage of time, each vessel a testament to the enduring legacy of craftsmanship. It was during his studies at El Mina College of Fine Arts that Ashraf's fascination with form was ignited. Hours spent in the drawing studios, meticulously observing shapes, lines, and spaces, nurtured an awareness of the intrinsic beauty inherent in well-considered forms.

Ashraf's artistic evolution took a significant turn when he crossed paths with sculptor Sue Hanna, his future wife, who introduced him to the transformative power of clay. After years of exploring raku and smoke-fired techniques, Ashraf embarked on a journey of artistic discovery, enrolling in a MA course in Ceramics and Glass at the Royal College of Art in London. This pivotal period allowed him to delve deeper into his craft, developing new ideas and refining his artistic vision.

Subsequent years saw Ashraf's body of work evolve into a series of hand-built forms, each vessel a testament to his sculptural sensibility and meticulous craftsmanship. From simple pinch pots to intricate compositions, Ashraf's creations explore the interplay of lines, light, and shadow, inviting viewers on a journey of contemplation and discovery.

Ashraf's creative process is a labour of love, starting with the humble pinch pot and progressing to soft slabs of clay meticulously shaped and refined. Each piece undergoes a series of firings and surface treatments, culminating in the application of ultra-refined coloured clay slips to create depth and texture.

In recognition of his artistic prowess, Ashraf's work has been acquired by prestigious institutions such as the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Fitzwilliam Museum. His participation in events like Collect and Homo Faber in Venice has garnered critical acclaim, cementing his reputation as a leading figure in contemporary ceramics. Through his work, Ashraf Hanna invites the viewer to embark on a journey of exploration and introspection, where ancient tradition meets modern innovation, and the timeless beauty of form transcends cultural boundaries.

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