Shropshire sculptor Halima Cassell receives MBE award for ‘Services to Art and Cultural Heritage’ in England.

Cassell was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2021 New Year Honours for ‘Services to Art and Cultural Heritage’ in England, but due to Covid restrictions the award ceremony was delayed until 2022. Cassell finally collected her award from Buckingham Palace in October and could not be more delighted.

“Visual Arts is so needed in our lives. From interaction with beautiful architecture and objects, to exploring our own creativity. In so many schools the development of art in children has been taken out, and I think it must be seen as an important part of supporting a child’s creativity and wellbeing. I feel so honoured to help in some small way to give Visual Arts the attention it deserves,” she said.

Cassell (born 1975) is a British sculptor and ceramicist working in bronze, ceramics, glass, stone, and wood, however she has been known to use other materials such as wallpaper. She was born in Pakistan and brought up in Lancashire, England, and now lives in Shropshire. Fusing her Asian roots with a fascination for African pattern work and her deep passion for architectural geometry, Cassell’s work is intense and compelling in its originality.

Cassell has had many commissions from museums and public spaces, including cruise lines and ships. She says it’s exciting as you know it’s going to be something that the public can see every day for years to come. But she also has had some rather interesting private commissions, one of which she tells us was a huge piece for the Queen of Jordan.

“I have been working so hard for 25 years, and have an extensive portfolio of collections and commissions around the world. Every new piece I do reveals something new out of a block of stone or clay or wood. It’s such an honour that my work is being seen and rewarded at this level. I don’t know which organisations nominated me, but I’m so grateful. I suppose that will always keep me guessing.”

The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is a British order of chivalry, rewarding contributions to the arts and sciences, work with charitable and welfare organisations, and public service outside the civil service.

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Halima Cassell receives her MBE at Buckingham Palace.