Elpida Hadzi-Vasileva is a contemporary visual artist working across varied media of sculpture, installation and architectural interventions. Hadzi-Vasileva is interested in the areas of life that people find it hard to talk about – death, disease, and religion to name recent examples. Is it in part her natural curiosity or part of growing up in a communist country where many topics were forbidden? Freedom of expression, asking difficult questions, using difficult materials, revealing the hidden and looking behind and below are themes that inform all her works. Hadzi-Vasileva’s choice of materials range from the extraordinary to the ordinary and the ephemeral or discarded to the highly precious; they have included organic materials, foodstuffs and precious metals, such as caul fat to gold leaf.

Central to her practice is a response to the particularities of place, its history, locale, environment and communities. Elpida has worked in collaboration with many other professionals and organisations including the RSPB, and the Forestry Commission to The Vatican, and from Cathedral settings to National Trust properties as well as contemporary visual arts organisations such as National Gallery of Macedonia and Djanogly Gallery in UK. She understand the complexities of place and negotiations necessary to realise work in diverse often fragile settings. Hadzi-Vasileva work reflects an interest in how humanity behaves in our exploitation of nature, including the destruction of nature and how urbanisation, consumerism, disposable society and hunger for resources impacts our environment. It also reflects on the experience of fleeing war and hunger; the transmission of disease from untouched parts of our world leading to pandemics, and global warming. Unusual natural materials are used to critically consider the fragility of nature and make the viewer think, respond and react. Hadzi-Vasileva is interested in how the exchange of knowledge might develop through collaborative working and in the contexts of landscape, heritage, science and community as offered by each location.

Elpida Hadzi-Vasileva was commissioned by the Vatican as part of the Pavilion of the Holy See, at the 56th International Art Exhibition, and represented Macedonia at the 55th International Art Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia. In 2023 she was awarded a MacDowell fellowship. Other awards including from Wellcome Trust, Pollock-Krasner Foundation, Arts Council England, Ministry of Culture of Macedonia. Her artworks have been commissioned and developed in urban and rural sites, in interior and exterior spaces, including Thirsk Hall Sculpture Garden; The University of Nottingham; Djanogly Gallery, Nottingham; Danielle Arnaud Gallery, London; Nymans Gardens; Fabrica Gallery, Brighton; Mottisfont Abbey, Romsey; Pied à Terre, London; Gloucester Cathedral, Bennachie, Aberdeenshire; L’H du Siège, France; Kilmainham Gaol Museum, Ireland. Permanent commissions can be visited at Preston Park, The University of Nottingham and Kilmardinny House.

Hadzi-Vasileva’s artworks are in public collections including Luxelakes a4 Museums, Chengdu, China; The Vatican; Soho House; Pooseum, Australia; Office of Public Works, Dublin, Ireland; Križanke, Ljubljana, Slovenia; Casoria Contemporary Art Museum, Napoli, Italy; Osten, Skopje, Macedonia; MIMA, Middlesbrough and New Hall Art Collection, Cambridge and private collections around the world.

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Selected exhibitions & projects