Olivia Hassett Completed a Masters of Fine Art Sculpture at the National College of Art and Design, Dublin in 2012.  In 2014 she was made inaugural artist in residence/ Adjunct Assistant Professor of the Mechanical and Manufacturing Department, Trinity College Dublin.  Hassett is also artist in residence in the Tallaght University Hospital since 2016.

Recent high profile collaborative exhibitions include an ambitious site specific installation of eight artworks in the trees of Trinity College Dublin in 2017.  This exhibition was the culmination of research undertaken by the Trinity College Trees Team: Olivia Hassett, Professor David TaylorDavid Hackett and Clodagh Dooley and was the main outcome from Trinity College Trees, Making Visible the Invisible project 2016/17, funded by TCD.  

The Trinity College Trees Team of Olivia Hassett, Professor David Taylor,
 David HackettColin ReidConor Buckley and Jeffrey Roe are currently working on another funded project for Trinity College Dublin.  Entitled The Majestic Oregon Maples of Trinity College Dublin it is due to launch in spring 2019.

Hassett's solo exhibitions of note include; Somatic reassemblage and The Process Room, Newbridge Arts Centre, January 2014 and Anamorph, Garter Lane Arts Centre, Waterford, June 2013.

Olivia Hassett was selected to perform a solo artwork in
Livestock, Dublin 2018 and Belfast 2017.  She also performed a series of pieces in response to the Oregon Maple trees as part of the Trinity College Trees project in 2017.  In 2015 she took part in the Bergen Performance Art Festival in Norway.  Other solo performances of note were Between You and Me Part I, II & III, 2014, which were performed in RUA RED, deAppendix and during the Dublin Live Art Festival in MART.

Olivia Hassett was awarded the South Dublin County Council Artists Bursary Award in 2014 to develop her project Art, Science and Medicine 2014/15. Project outcomes included an immersive installation developed for deAppendix entitled In Between and endo | exo - in | animate, an joint collaborative exhibition with Professor David Taylor in the Parsons Building in Trinity College Dublin during September 2015.

During 2014 Hassett completed a three month residency in deAppendix, a hybrid cultural space and doctors surgery.  Residency outcomes not only included the site specific immersive installation entitled In Between but also a solo performance and series of public talks between the artist and Professor Taylor, T.C.D. and Dr. Tina Kinsella, N.C.A.D.

Group exhibitions of note include Standard, 2017 in ArtBox curated by Davey Moore, To Follow the Water, 2016 a funded exhibition on a functioning barge curated by Anne Mullee. Underline, curated by Occupy space, Limerick, June 2014, Penumbra, TACTIC, Cork, February 2014 and Circulation, Monster Truck Gallery, Dublin, August 2013 curated by Paul McAree.

Hassett is currently a member of two collaborative groups: The Trinity College Trees Team with  Professor David Taylor, David Hackett, Colin Reid, Conor Buckley and Jeffrey Roe and BBeyond a improvisational performance group based in Belfast.

She was a founding member of 
pre form, (2013-2104) a collaborative performance group, which was awarded the Dublin City Council's Incubation Space Award in 2013/14 and a supported workspace by RUA RED. Pre form's most notable performances included On the spot in RUA RED, June 7th 2014. Between Us, in the Glass Box, The LAB, Dublin, April 2014 and at Siteation (curated by Unit1) in 2013

Olivia Hassett Curriculum Vitae
  • 2010-2012 Masters of Fine Art Sculpture, National College of Art and Design, Dublin 
  • 1996-1997 Diploma in Advertising Management, DIT, Aungier Street 
  • 1992-1995 Batchelor of Fine Art Sculpture, National College of Art and Design, Dublin 

  • 2018-to date Tallaght University Hospital, Dublin, Artist in Residence, General wards 
  • 2016-to date Tallaght University Hospital, Dublin, Artist in Residence, Age related day ward 
  • 2014-to date Trinity College Dublin, Inaugural Artist in Residence/ Adjunct Assistant Professor, Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering Department. 
  • 2007-2009 The Fenton Gallery, Cork – Gallery Assistant 
  • 1998-2006 The Solomon Gallery, Dublin – Gallery Assistant 

Solo Exhibitions:
  • 2017 Trinity College Trees Exhibition, Outdoor exhibition, Trinity College Dublin 
  • 2015 Endo/ Exo Joint exhibition with Prof. Taylor, Engineering Dept. TCD 
  • 2014 In Between Immersive Installation, deAppendix, Dublin. Part of residency. 
  • 2014 Somatic reassemblage, immersive Installation, McKenna Gallery, Riverbank Arts Centre, Newbridge 
  • 2014 The Process Room, mind map of artists practice, Children's Gallery, Riverbank Arts Centre, Newbridge 
  • 2013 Ananmorph, sculptural Installation, Garter Lane Gallery, Waterford 
  • 2013 Biosphere, sculptural Installation, The Project Wall, RUA RED, Dublin 
  • 2008 Biosphere, exhibition of drawings, Backwater Artists Group, Cork 2006 Biomorph, solo Exhibition of sculpture/ works on paper, South Dublin Co.Co. 

Solo Performances:
  • 2018 Livestock, Mart Gallery, Dublin 
  • 2017 Livestock at Black Box, Belfast 
  • 2017 The Oregon Maple, two performative responses to the Oregon Maple in TCD, part of PROBE with the Science Gallery on European Researchers night. 
  • 2016 Cumulative Sampling, Sept 15th- 18th, To Follow the Water, curator Anne Mullee. 
  • 2015 PAB – Performance Art Festival, Bergen, Norway, September 
  • 2015 Endo Exo - Engineering Department, Trinity College Dublin, September 
  • 2015 Screened – Feminism and the Body in Performance, curated by Katherine Nolan 
  • 2014 Between You and Me Part I - Gallery 1, RUA RED, part of ON THE SPOT., 
  • 2014 Between You and Me Part II - deAppendix, Dublin, part of residency. 
  • 2014 Between You and Me Part III - What is the body for?, curator Katherine Nolan 
  • 2013 Avenue Art Festival, Garter Lane Gallery, Waterford. July 28th 
  • 2012 Performance & sculptural installation, Dublin Live Art Festival, curator Unit1 
  • Culture Night performance, RUA RED, South Dublin Arts Centre 
  • Performance I and II; part of NCAD Intern Exhibition, 90 Francis Street, Dublin 

Current Interdisciplinary Collaborations and Projects:

Trinity College Trees, The Oregon Maples: Art, science and conservation project 2018/19.
Collaboration with Prof. Taylor and David Hackett, TCD: strength/ failure of aging trees & environmental influences. Colin Reed, Center Microscopic Analysis, TCD, Dr. Buckley TCD: development of an artistic Bioplastic material. Development of contact microphone to listen to inner workings of trees:. https://trinitycollegetrees.wordpress.com/

Age related day ward, Tallaght Hospital: 2016 to date.
Weekly artistic collaboration with patients in conjunction with hospital staff.

The Sky is the Limit 2018/19: Hassett is one of the main supporting artists for the large TSTL collaborative (hospital and community based) art project in Tallaght hospital. Hassett has so far facilitated workshop to create balloon designs and others to translate chosen designs onto the large 3D paper mache balloons. http://www.tuh.ie/News/The-Sky-s-the-Limit-.html

Bbeyond, Belfast, 2014 to date – member of collaborative performance group

Group Exhibitions/ Projects:
  • 2017 Winter Open, group exhibition, RUA RED, curated by Maolíosa Boyle and Jennie Guy. 
  • 2017 Standard, group exhibition and commission catalogue, ArtBox, curated by Davey Moor 
  • 2016 Winter Open, RUA RED, Dublin, November 5th to December 24th 
  • 2016 To Follow The Water, Grand Canal Quay, Dublin, Curated by Anne Mullee, artists: Olivia Hassett, Mary-Jo Gilligan, David Fagan and Ciara McKeon 
  • 2014 Underline, Occupy Space, Limerick. Group exhibition with Elaine Leader, Seamus McCormack, Janine Davidson, Tanya O'Keeffe and Francis Wasser Penumbra, 
  • 2014 TACTIC Gallery, Cork. Group exhibition with Elaine Leader, Seamus McCormack, Janine Davidson, Tanya O'Keeffe and Francis Wasser 
  • 2013 Winter show, RUA RED, Dublin. Selected by Grace McEvoy, Paul & Claire McAree 
  • 2013 Circulation, Monster Truck Gallery, Dublin. Group exhibition curated by Paul McAree 
  • 2013 Overlap, RUA RED, Dublin. Group exhibition of South Dublin Artists Forum 
  • 2012 NCAD MFA Exhibition, Steambox, Dublin 
  • 2012 Pop up art exhibition: South Dublin Artists Forum, the Square, Dublin 
  • 2011 NCAD Exhibition, Science Gallery, Dublin 12 (exhibition of 12 artists work, self-initiated), 
  • 2011 Basic Space, Slack space, Dublin City 
  • 2010 Backwater TWENTY-10, 20 years of Backwater Artists Studios, Crawford Gallery, Cork
  • 2010 The Other Place, Project with Maire O'Mahoney, Tanya O'Keeffe & Tony Magnier 

Collaborative performances:
  • 2014/18 Improvisational collaborative group performances with Bbeyond in Belfast and Dublin 
  • 2015 Personal Rituals for Postmodern Times, Ulster Museum, Belfast 
  • 2014 ON THE SPOT. pre form collaborative performance with Sinead O'Donnell, Dominic Thorpe and Francis Mezzetti 
  • 2014 Between Us, pre form performance in Glass Box, the LAB, part of incubation award 
  • 2013 Culture Night performance pre form, September, RUA RED, Dublin 
  • 2013 Beaker - pre form group improvisational performance, Mill Street, Dublin. 
  • 2013 Siteation, curated by UNIT1, Dublin. pre form. January 29th 2012 
  • 2012 EAT LOVE performative meal for 12 people in Temple Bar Studios. Curator Aine Phillips 
  • 2012 'Breathing Ground' with Tanya O'Keeffe, Lab Gallery, Dublin, part of Labour Seminar 

Nissan Ireland - Solomon Gallery - St. James Hospital - Various private collections

Awards/ Residencies:
  • 2018/19 Arts Bursary, Trinity College Dublin, for the Oregon Maple Trees project. 
  • 2018-to date Tallaght Hospital, Dublin, Artist in Residence, Age related and general wards 
  • 2016/17 Arts Bursary, Trinity College Dublin Trees project, making visible the invisible 
  • 2014-to date Trinity College Dublin, Inaugural Artist in Residence/ Adjunct Assistant Professor, Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering Department. 
  • 2014 South Dublin County Council Artist Bursary for art, science and medicine project 
  • 2014 Three month residency at deAppendix, Dublin in a working GP's surgery 
  • 2013 deAppendix & residency project short-listed for Business to Arts Award 
  • 2013 Incubation award (pre form) at the LAB, Dublin 2013/14 Sponsored working space (pre form) RUA RED, South Dublin Arts Centre 
  • 2008 Mentoring award Sculpture Society of Ireland 2004 Sculpture in Context Exhibition-Distinction in Bronze Award 
  • 1993 Slogadh Travel and Art Award 

Lectures/ Symposia/ workshops
  • 2018 Positive Ageing Week, Tallaght Hospital. Pimp my Zimmer; patient collaboration 
  • 2016-2018 Yearly in RUA RED: devised/ facilitated block of 6 workshops for children age 4-12 
  • 2017 Art in the wards, presentation to Medical staff at Tallaght Hospital 
  • 2014 Public artists talk with Prof. Taylor, Tina Kinsella as part of deAppendix residency 
  • 2013 National Drawing Day, workshop and project initiated with Chloe Brennan and Siobhan Carroll, NCAD Creative Campus Project, RUA RED, Dublin, May 2013 
  • 2012 Postgraduate Symposium, National College of Art and Design 2011 Pecha Kucha presentation, Dialogue Arts and Health 
  • 2008 Artists Talk, Backwater Studios, Cork 

Books/ Articles/ blogs:

  • 2016-18 Trinity College Trees blog – outlining art and scientific research, conservation and the use of innovative materials and technology for both tree projects.
  • 2017 Interview on Mooney goes Wild, Radio 1, 5th November. Eanna ni Lamhna learns how an art installation is revealing microscopic magic in the Trinity Trees Project. 
  • 2017 Six conversations about flags, part of Standard exhibition, curator Davey Moor 
  • 2014 Underline, exhibition essay by Aine Phillips Penumbra, essay written by Ann Mullee in response to Penumbra exhibition in the Tactic Gallery Cork 
  • 2013 Anamorph, self published book in response to solo exhibition in the Garter Lane Gallery, Waterford, July to September 2013 
  • 2013 Form(less), essay written by Darren Campion in response to solo exhibition in the Garter Lane Gallery, Waterford, 2013
  • 2012 ...after the fact, article written by Barry Kehoe in response to the NCAD Postgraduate exhibition in Steambox, Dublin 2012 
  • 2008 Biomorph, self published book in response to exhibition in Backwater Studios, Cork

Artist Statement

Olivia Hassett's practice is interdisciplinary and frequently collaborative, realised through the development of phenomenological site specific sculptural installations and live performance works. Hassett's hybrid practice reflects her ongoing interest in engaging with and incorporating scientific and medical notions and methodologies into her art works.

The installations and live works created by Hassett draw directly from her preoccupation with metaphorical and phenomenological notions of skin as a porous, liminal boundary between public and private aspects of the human body. Central to Hassett's ongoing exploration of the visceral body and it's propensity to be simultaneously grotesque and sublime is her interest in an expanded notion of skin, beyond that of abjection and binaries; inside / outside, public / private, male / female, hard / soft, but as a threshold that is continuously shifting and morphing. Hassett's practice focuses on developing work that is openly provisional and allows movement back and forth along these edges exploring the unknown and creating a space for transformation.

Occupying a liminal space between active, embodiment and the alleged passivity, of an acquiescent, inanimate, various elements in Hassett's installations go through transformative processes, back and forth across a tenuous threshold, mediated by the artist's performing body/ environmental factors and the liminal nature of the materials used.

Up to the recent past Hassett's core output was the development of phenomenological installations comprising of groups of interconnected sculptural elements resembling disjointed abstracted body parts. Through the inclusion in her installations of certain re- appropriated medical objects and sculptural elements that resemble fragmented views of our corporality Hassett reflects on her interest in scientific and medical representations of the 'medical body'. In imagining a reassembly of the various sculptural elements there was the potential to create something new and possibly outside the constrains imposed on the body by society.


Text by Darren Campion in response to Anamorph exhibition 2013

Generally speaking, we assume that when bodies function in ways that appear stable or consistent they are in their definitive states. Any deviation can be explained away as not properly belonging to that imagined order. However, our substantial efforts to avoid those chaotic or obscene aspects of bodily experience, presumably real in themselves, must demonstrate a recognition of their wholly elemental nature. Running through the sculpture, installation and performance work of Olivia Hassett is an ambivalent fascination with these similarly excessive dimensions of corporeality, which bleed and ooze from the margins of the body itself, creating a new order, more openly provisional than the last.

This porous quality is evident in – and essential to – the formal presence of the work as well, moving, as it does, between seemingly distinct categories, with installation becoming sculpture, or becoming in turn the scene for a performance. Indeed, this notion of “becoming” is fundamental, in so far as a coherent form is understood only in relation to its potential formlessness. While it might seem contradictory to suggest that these dynamic processes can reliably be shown in the idiom of gallery presentation, it is precisely this constraint that emphasises their excessive effect. The individual works do not represent static positions demonstrating particular effects, then; instead of being merely the image of these abject modes, Hassett is attempting to produce the varied relations that constitute them as an experience and in that sense, the works must be approached on their own terms.

The pieces sprawl, but they are not amorphous; rather the sculptural intent is to channel the tension between those ordered forms and what they become when released from the pressures that have shaped them. In fact, their relatively open structures are as much about the potential for recombination as they are evocative of some lost order. But, given that we don’t really conceive of bodies as distinctly subdivided entities until their recognizable wholeness has been ruptured, there is still a clear (and necessary) undercurrent of violence here, addressing how the fluid contingencies of nature always seek a logic other than those we imagine them to perform.

Darren Campion August 2013 

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