Collection: Ashraf Hanna

I am an Egyptian born British artist, currently resident and working from my studio in Pembrokeshire, West Wales.

Growing up in Egypt I was surrounded by pottery forms that have changed little since the ancient times, classical forms that have filtered through the ages, touched and formed by the hand of the potter. These forms were functional storage jars and water cooling urns. It was not however until I went to El Minia College of Fine Arts that I started to really look at them. Close observation during drawing classes of still life compositions opened my eyes to the beauty and contentment that exist within a well considered and executed form.

Drawing is fundamental in training our eyes to see, the action of trying to pick up a line from a three dimensional object and marking it down on a paper is a powerful gesture that surpasses the basic skill, a projection of a line that becomes etched in our psyche as we forge an emotional and intellectual bond with such object.

The long hours spent in the drawing studio not only developed the skill needed to make a mark but, more importantly, it was a time of meditation, allowing me to free my mind from preconceptions that normally govern our perception of functional pottery. It had become increasingly obvious that objects derive their value not only from certain inherent qualities and attributes but, crucially, also from how we relate to them in a particular context. This has initiated and shaped my relationship with pottery forms ever since, seeing them as a vehicle of creativity worthy of contemplation.