2011, Siobhán Hapaska: olive trees "Olea europaea", lead free solder, brass, steel, cast iron, 9 elements, dimensions of each vary

26 Aug to 01 Oct 2011 – Kerlin Gallery
‘a great miracle needs to happen there’, takes a structural starting point from the Hanukkah menorah and the story of the miracle of the oil. Each of the eight ‘candlesticks’ is replaced by industrial engine stands that have been carefully and beautifully clad by hand in polished brass and solder. The traditional and sacred olive oil is replaced with the limbless trunks of uprooted olive trees, displaced, distressed and burnt. At the same time the common place, industrial machinery is transformed into something precious, almost sacred. At the centre of the installation a complete olive tree, the Shamash, replete with root ball is held high by a similarly adorned engine crane.

a great miracle needs to happen there (detail), 2011, Siobhán Hapaska: olive trees "Olea europaea"


S
iobhán Hapaska’s practice has long been known and celebrated for its diverse vocabulary of materials, its complex layering of narrative and its immaculately crafted, descriptive detail. In the past two years olives and olive trees have featured prominently. The olive tree’s 7,000 year history in religious, cultural and political discourse opens the work to a multitude of readings and potential interpretations. It is a work that resonates with history and our contemporary condition of displacement and loss

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