siobhan hapaska


05 November – 30 January 2009

Siobhan Hapaska presented her first solo exhibition, comprising of three new sculptural works, in the GSS gallery in November 2010. In The Nose That Lost Its Dog Hapaska incorporated a wide-ranging vocabulary of materials including Scottish deerskin, stainless steel, fibreglass and LED lights, to create three new sculptures which continued her subtle exploration of themes of conflict and resolution, both domestic and political, juxtaposing natural and synthetic materials to create works that are unique and resonant.

Works presented in the show included an uprooted olive tree, its lifeless skeleton resting horizontally upon a support structure; its roots disheveled, its leaves and olives shorn, its skin stripped. The olive tree as an object it imbued with meaning and history, but for Hapaska her interest in the olive tree lies in its symbol of destruction and volatility. The olive tree has direct associations to the growth of early economies for early civilizations with its versatility and multitude of uses (oil, wood, olives). The mass destruction of the olive tree that followed can be traced to the fall of the Empires. Hapaska sees correlations between these facts and the current conflict in the Middle East where 1000’s of olive trees are today being uprooted to build boundary walls between two faiths and cultures. The tree acts as a volatile gesture; to uproot an olive tree becoming representative of uprooting humanity.

The exhibition was accompanied by a commissioned essay by Francis McKee.