Olivia Hassett is a Dublin-based artist who creates live works, sculptures, and immersive installations. In 2012 she graduated with a Master’s in fine art Sculpture from NCAD.
From a young age her fascination with science and more specifically human biology was fostered by her mother who was a biology teacher. Working as an artist in residence in Tallaght University Hospital and collaborating with scientists in Trinity College Dublin over the past number of years has created a vibrant and exciting framework for her exploration of notions pertaining to the female medical body.
Her interest in the microscopic workings of the human body and how the various individual organs and systems converge to create unique human bodies is mirrored in her live works. The relationship between her body, the sculptural elements, and the ‘fabric’ of the spaces she performs in are sites of contestation. The improvised live works push and pull across the shifting boundaries between strength/ fragility, inside/ outside and the public/ private body.
Olivia Hassett was awarded two Community Health Initiative Scheme awards for work with The Alzheimer Society of Ireland. She was part of an interdisciplinary collaborative team that was funded by TCD to research and develop two high profile projects and exhibitions inspired by a selection of trees on their campus.
The exploration of material and colour are hugely important elements in my practice. Like a scientist, I will experiment with the physicality of each material and object that I am drawn to. I will return again and again to explore its strengths, limitations and how it might transform in relation to its environment, my performing body, or other materials.
Using brightly coloured man-made materials alongside reappropriated medical elements I explore the complex relationships we have with our visceral body. Often, we fear and disassociate from this complex body hoping that all the different organs and systems will keep working together and not succumb to fragility or illness.
Over the years I have engaged and reengaged with the notion of human skin as a porous liminal boundary that wraps around the body holding it all together. More recently my explorations have focused on the idea of the fragility of the human body under pressure. Brittle, hollow, bones split and fracture needing to be held together and supported. My art works seek to repair, reconnect, and rebuild a new provisional whole, one that recognises the beauty in our lived bodily experience, sunspots, scars, traumas, and all.
Collaborative performance group memberships
Solo Art Exhibitions 2014 to date:
Solo Art Performances 2014 to date:
Group Exhibitions/ Projects 2014 to date:
Collaborative performances: 2013 to date:
Lectures/ Symposia/ workshops
Books/ articles/ blogs/ interviews: