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Fan Construction

Halima Cassell

Fan Construction on the Sculpture Trail
Image: Fan Construction Photo Credit: The Hepworth Wakefield


Cassell’s connection with the Wakefield Art Gallery and Museum dates back to 2007 with the commission for a solo exhibition (one of the final shows to be held at these premises) and to create a piece for acquisition towards the celebration of the commissioning of The Hepworth Wakefield.

Fan Construction (cold-cast iron 2023) which was designed in 2004 provides an exterior link to Fan and both are designed in Cassell’s initial geometric, hard-edged and recognizable style. It is situated in the beautiful Hepworth Garden and can be seen to be interacting throughout the year with the ever- changing shifting of the light, the colours and structural foliage there. The six-metre-tall column tapers and expands continuously towards the top through four decreasing ovoids which give the sculpture a twisting dynamism and energy contrasting with the pattern of flickering fanned shapes which have been precisely mapped around its faceted form and reflect the geometry and symmetry found in nature. Cassell’s intention for this piece is for people to be drawn in and to feel the urge to walk around it.

The initial idea behind the design of Fan Construction came from the rotating flickering folds of many fans which appeared to Cassell as a vision during a moment of REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, which is when many of Cassell’s ideas have been visualised and then recorded into her sketch book. The terracotta colour of the matt cast iron provides a response to the red brick of Rutland Mills, while creating a counterpoint to the concrete of The Hepworth Wakefield.



The Wakefield district is one of Yorkshire’s leading cultural destinations. The city is known especially for sculpture, being the birthplace of Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore. It is the only city outside London to have two Art Fund Museums of the Year: The Hepworth Wakefield and Yorkshire Sculpture Park.

Fan Construction is part of a series of sculptures for the city, commissioned in 2023. The series offers a unique opportunity for everyone to experience and enjoy world-class art. Each artist has created a work especially for the place, its history and communities.

Wakefield Sculpture Trail



Halima Cassell (b. 1975) was born in Pakistan and raised in Lancashire. Cassells varied, multi-cultural background and interest in Islamic art, design and architecture is tangibly present in her work. Cassell’s distinctive style integrates bold forms with an infinite variety of deeply carved, complex patterns. Combining strong geometric elements with architectural principles, Cassell’s work incorporates recurrent patterns inspired by the geometry and symmetry found in nature, her surroundings and from her own heritage.

The Hepworth Garden

The Hepworth Garden

The Hepworth Wakefield Garden, designed by internationally acclaimed landscape architect Tom Stuart-Smith, is free for all to enjoy.

Tom Stuart-Smith’s design draws inspiration from its unusual setting between 19th-century red-brick mills and a 21st-century art gallery, edged by the River Calder. It echoes the striking, angular shapes of the David Chipperfield-designed gallery while harnessing a naturalism that reflects Barbara Hepworth’s deep connection to the landscape.

As well as Fan Construction by Halima Cassell there are outdoor sculptures by Sir Michael Craig-Martin, Barbara Hepworth and Kim Lim also on display.