Meet the artist behind Adelphi Square’s new artwork

Halima says she has ‘come full circle’

An award-winning artist lent her talents to her former university.









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UCLan graduate Halima Cassell MBE provided eye-catching sculpted granite artwork to frame the University of Central Lancashire’s (UCLan) new plaza.

She said she came full circle after being tasked with creating multiple works for what is Preston’s newest plaza in 70 years, and a new focal point for the Preston campus alongside the new student center.

Halima designed a sculpted wall frieze that sits at the entrance to Fylde Road towards St Peters Gardens and marks the entrance to the university.

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She also created several decorative bookends for the planter seats around the 5,000 m² space, which fit into the seating structure and provide identical signage at the four entrances to the square.

All of these parts were machined from granite by Hardscape to Halima’s designs.

Halima, who studied 3D design at UCLan in the late 90s before returning to complete a Masters in Design in 2002, said: “I was thrilled when UCLan asked me to contribute to his University Square project.

“Like any artist, having your work in the public domain is a great honor, but having it appear where my career began is something else.

“I spent a lot of my formative years at UCLan and it’s a place where I developed as a person and as an artist. I hope people will enjoy my work and interact with it. I designed it to be very tactile.

“My wall frieze focuses on arrows that attract the attention of passers-by and create a weaving effect through the individual modules. Through this work I wanted to remember the Lancashire weaving heritage and reflect on the university being a key part of the tapestry of life.

“In designing the bookends for the seats, the play with natural and artificial light was important to me. I designed them to symphonize with drop shadows to create a dramatic and ever-changing effect throughout the day and night.

“My mantra has always been to be patient, to work hard and to keep doing what I love, so I hope my story is an inspiration to the next generation of artists.

“My 19 year old self would never have believed that one day I would work full time as an artist and play such an important role in this fantastic new place. “

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Halima has maintained a relationship with UCLan throughout her career, with regular visits to lecture and attend events and exhibitions.

She is one of the three artists to contribute to the development of the new university place and the student center.

It is the culmination of UCLan’s Masterplan project, launched in 2015, which set out a vision to create a state-of-the-art and sustainable campus for students, staff, visitors and communities for years to come. future.

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