Siobhán Hapaska was born in Belfast. She studied at Middlesex Polytechnic, London 1985-88 and Goldsmiths College, University of London 1990-92. She was awarded the IMMA (Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin) Glen Dimplex Award in 1998, and has been selected to represent Ireland at the XLVIV Venice Biennale in 2001.
Hapaska’s sculpture moves effortlessly between abstraction and figuration. Her glossy opalescent wall-mounted works in fibreglass defy definition, but are reminiscent of parts of vehicles associated with of high-speed travel. Floor based works have a similar high finish but their shapes and titles suggest something more organic, emphasised by the fact she has on occasion incorporated plant forms into the works. The hyper-realist sculptures, frequently shown alongside the abstracted works, create an unexpected counterpart. She has said: ? I think some people get very uneasy when they can’t find immediate, concrete explanations. I like ideas that are adrift. When things are not absolutes they become more interesting, because it throws the responsibility back on you, to understand what you might be.”
Hapaska had a solo exhibition, St Christopher’s Legless, at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London in 1995. A touring solo show organised by Oriel, the Arts Council of Wales’ Gallery, Cardiff followed in 1997. That same year she was selected to show in Documenta X, Kassel and had her first solo show in New York at the Tanya Bonakdar Gallery. She had a solo show presented by the Saison Art Programme, Tokyo in 1999 and was shown with Ernesto Neto and Charles Long at Magasin 3 Stockholm Konsthall in 2000. Her work is included in major collections. Hapaska lives and works in London.
Kate Bush: Siobhán Hapaska, Oriel, The Arts Council of Wales’ Gallery, Cardiff, 1997 James Roberts, an interview with Suzanne Cotter: Siobhán Hapaska, Saison Art Programme, Sezon Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, 1999