b. 1963, Belfast, Northern Ireland
Siobhán Hapaska continually reconsiders the role of the object in contemporary sculpture. At the core of Hapaska’s work is a consideration of human relations. Accepting all the difficulties of our current global condition and its often violent opposing forces and conflicting ideologies, her work strives to find a position of balance and a sense of equilibrium. Hapaska goes about this with a dazzling array of materials, each loaded with history and multiple readings. These materials are persuaded into complex relationships of both potential energy and harmony. Often enigmatic in form, each work or installation betrays a sober exploration of emotion that is undercut with a sense of humour and always devoid of cynicism or pessimism.
Hapaska’s recent work employs a new material, ‘concrete cloth’. This recent invention, a concrete-infused canvas, was developed for the speedy construction of emergency dwellings. Its use by Hapaska accentuates the biomorphic nature of her work but also speaks to the very contemporary concerns regarding housing for refugees and those suffering the effects of natural disasters. In each of these new sculptures, there is a relationship between two elements, each is a resolution of conflict or a system of support.
Recent solo exhibitions include: LOK, Kunstmuseum St. Gallen, Switzerland (2020); Siobhán Hapaska, John Hansard Gallery, University of Southampton, UK, (2019); Siobhán Hapaska, Kerlin Gallery, Dublin, Ireland, (2016); Siobhán Hapaska, Andéhn-Schiptjenko, Stockholm, Sweden (2016); Sensory Spaces, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, The Netherlands (2014–15); Magasin 3, Stockholm, Sweden (2013); The Nose that Lost its Dog, Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York, USA (2010) and Camden Arts Centre, London, UK, (2007). Recent group exhibitions include: Sense and Suggestion, Williams College Museum of Art, Massachusetts, (2019 / 2020); Shadowplay, Kerlin Gallery, Dublin, (2019) Podesta Collection, American University Museum of Art, Washington, USA, (2019); Dreamers Awake, White Cube, Bermondsey, London, UK, (2017); The Hepworth Wakefield, UK, (2017); Bloomberg SPACE, London, UK, (2016); Azerbaijan Pavilion, 56th Venice Biennale, Italy, (2015); Royal Academy, London, UK, (2010); the British Art Show 6 (2005–06); the Irish Pavilion, 49th Venice Biennale (2001) and Magasin 3, Stockholm and Documenta X (1997).
Hapaska’s work is represented in many major institutional collections including: Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC, USA; Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, USA;American University Katzen Museum of Art, Washington, DC, USA; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, USA;Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, USA; Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin; The Arts Council of Ireland, Dublin, Ireland; Ulster Museum, Belfast, Northern Ireland; Magasin III, Stockholm Konsthall, Stockholm, Sweden; Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden; Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, The Netherlands; The Tate Modern, London, United Kingdom; Museum of Contemporary Art, Shenzhen, China.