Trinity College Tress, The Oregon Maples, 2018/19 

Scanning Electron Microscopic image of Oregon Maple root structure, image taken by Colin Reid

Collaborative Interdisciplinary Art, Science and conservation Project

Early in January of this year the Trinity College Trees team (Taylor, Hackett and Hassett) in conjunction with Colin Reid and Dr. Conor Buckley of TCD initiated an ambitious new study on the two large Oregon Maple trees in main College Square. Both sibling trees were estimated to be over 170 years old and were reported to be suffering some difficulties with fungal infection and lack of adequate water to support their huge structure.

This 2018 project proposed to build on the research and success of their 2017 project, while focusing on the conservation research and efforts to keep these trees healthy. During the initial phase of the project the team took more scanning electron microscopic images of the Oregon Maples. The exhibition and series of performance art works were due to launch during September 2018.

Unfortunately in early June 2018 one of 170 year old majestic Oregon Maples collapsed, splitting into many pieces on the lawn of Main square. The second sister Oregon Maple tree had to be felled two months later over rising public safety concerns.

Following on from the trees demise the team spent a few months investigating what happened focusing on the structural integrity of the wood samples taken from the two trees. After reviewing the scientific and conservations reports it was concluded that both trees just didn’t have enough water in their systems to keep them upright. They had become so brittle and lacking in water that many of the bolts of the cable bracing system helping to support them had pulled through the thick limbs.

The team decided to re-focus the direction of the project onto the two remaining Oregon Maples (children to the fallen ones) in Trinity College Dublin. They have also narrowed their focus of exploration to the scientific and conservation research and possible future outcomes of the lack of sufficient water in the Oregon Maples of Trinity College Dublin.

After successfully getting an extension to the project deadline they now plan to launch in Spring 2019. Proposed artistic responses will include a months display of new artworks installed in both trees, a series of live performances and indoor exhibition on the TCD campus. Current artistic inspirations include collaborative work on a bio-plastic art material with Conor Buckley and the development of a device that will be able to record the inner sounds of the Oregon Maples drinking water in conjunction with Jeffrey Roe. Other work in progress include the development of drawings on hand made paper using materials gathered from the fallen trees.

For more information on this project please visit: https://trinitycollegetrees.wordpress.com/category/2018-project-2-maples/
Trinity College Trees, Making Visible the Invisible, 2016/17

Trinity College Trees Team 2016
Left to right: Dr Clodagh Dooley, David Hackett, Olivia Hassett, Prof. David Taylor

Collaborative Interdisciplinary Art, Science and Conservation Project

The 2016/17 Trinity College Trees Project, Making Visible the Invisible, celebrated scientific, conservation and artistic research into the physiology of eight trees situated on the main campus of Trinity College Dublin.

Over a period of eighteen months TCD staff members Professor David Taylor, David Hackett, Clodagh Dooley and Olivia Hassett meet regularly to collaborate on this ambitious project. Two sets of Scanning Electron microscopic sampling and imaging were undertaken to reflect the changing seasons and conditions during the project.

In response to the collaborative research and microscopic imagery collected the artist created a series of site specific innovative art works, which were installed in the eight trees throughout the campus. A series of performances by Hassett with the Oregon Maple in the main square formed part of PROBE European Researchers night event September 29th 2017 launching the exhibition to much acclaim.

The Trinity College Trees exhibition was supported by a series of guided walks while also offering a self guided walk and supporting audio piece detailing information on each tree and the inspiration behind the installed artworks.  A selection of images can be found on the exhibition page. 

For more information on the project visit:  https://trinitycollegetrees.wordpress.com/category/2017-project-8-tcd-trees/

Art, Science and Medicine 2014/15

Funded by the South Dublin County Council

Residency in deAppendix, a cultural space co-located in a doctor's surgery, Dublin.


Ongoing interventions - bandaged door handles heightening the threshold between the public and private areas in the doctors surgery.

In / Between a site specific immersive installation between the reception, hallway and waiting rooms in deAppendix.  Installation included piece inspired by exoskeleton collaborative project with Professor Taylor of Trinity College Dublin.

Between You and Me Part II, solo performance in response to In / Between and it's main sculptural element.  

Public talks between Olivia Hassett and Professor Taylor of TCD and Olivia Hassett and Dr. Tina Kinsella NCAD.

Interdisciplinary collaboration with Professor David Taylor, Trinity College Dublin.

Olivia Hassett's practice explores expanded notions of the human body beyond is skin and societal boundaries.   Through interdisciplinary collaborative projects Hassett aims to open up discussions on how we currently 'experience' our bodies.  

In this project both Taylor and Hassett are specifically interested in exploring the evolutionary 
possibility that humans could be faster/ stronger if they possessed an exoskeleton rather than a fragile skin.

Olivia Hassett was made Adjunct Assistant Professor of Trinity College in 2015.


Project introduced as part of the exhibition The Process Room, a solo show by Hassett in the Riverbank Gallery in Newbridge, 2014.

A piece of work inspired by the collaboration was included in the In / Between installation in deAppendix, 2014

The collaboration was discussed by Hassett and Taylor during a public talk in deAppendix in 2014.

endo / eco in / animate an exhibition introducing the project in the Engineering Building, T.C.D., September 2015.

Professor Taylor will discuss the collaboration during a key note address at the International Conference on the Mechanics of Biomaterial's and Tissues, December 2015.



pre form
Memebers: Olivia Hassett, Ciara McKeon, Debbie Guinnane, Alan Delmar & Tanya O'Keeffe

Past improvised collaborative group performances:
ON THE SPOT. Rua Red June 7th 2014,  Between Us, Glass Box, LAB Gallery, March 26th 2014, Beaker, Mill St. Dublin 2013, Culture Night @ Rua Red 2013

Group of visual artists

Group members:
Olivia Hassett, Elaine Leader, Seamus McCormack, Janine Davidson, Frank Wasser & Tanya O'Keeffe

Past exhibitions:
Underline, Occupy Space, Limerick, June 2014, Penumbra, TACTIC, Cork 2014, Beaker, Mill Street, 2013, 12 Basic Space, Dublin 2011.


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