OLIVIA HASSETT
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Trinity College Trees, The Oregon Maples
Interdisciplinary Collaborative project 2018/19


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. 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.

Various samples were taken from the remains of the two majestic but fragile Oregon Maple Trees in College Square. The team sought to explore the structural integrity of the wood samples. 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.

The team decided to re-focus the direction of the project onto the two remaining Oregon Maples 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.
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Olivia Hassett was made Adjunct Assistant Professor of Trinity College Dublin in 2015.

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In September 2015 Olivia Hassett will perform a three hour durational piece during the Performance Festival in Bergen, Norwary.

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Olivia Hassett was awarded an Artists Bursary by the South Dublin County Council 2014

Olivia Hassett with Mayor Dermot Looney and Collette Ryan


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