As a master carver, designer, and joiner, Naseer Yasna (Mansouri) specialises in handmade woodwork inspired by Islamic design traditions. With over twenty years of experience, Naseer has worked on prestigious projects around the world. Some of the more notable projects include a library in Tokyo, Japan, a UNESCO restoration project in Herat, Afghanistan, and a VIP suite in a hotel in Mayfair, London. His work has been exhibited in various museums around the world, including at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington DC, USA, Leighton House Museum in London, UK, and the Museum of Islamic Art in Doha, Qatar.
The sculptures are inspired by and are modern interpretations of Nurestani figures. Formerly known as Kafirestan, Nurestan is a remote mountainous part of Eastern Afghanistan, where several ancient tribes have lived and flourished in isolation. They are thought to be relics of an original Indo-European population secluded in the mountains up until the 1890s when they were forced, by the then Afghan Emir, to convert to Islam. As pagans with an ancient belief system, they carved images of their gods in large figures of timber. They developed their own chip carving techniques using simple tools and local timber from the surrounding forests. They decorated their homes with intricately carved doors and columns. In this collection Naseer has tried to invoke some of the charm surrounding this ancient and proud people.
These beautiful hand carved sculptures are now available to order in our Westbourne Grove shop.