Elpida Hadzi-Vasileva is a site-specific installation artist who works across sculpture, installation, and architectural interventions. The materials for her sculpture are found in the world. Sometimes they remain in situ. Sometimes they are gathered and remade, brought first to the studio, and then on to a place of exhibition. Central to Hadzi-Vasileva's practice is a response to the particularities of place: its history, locale, environment, and communities. She often uses materials that already have an existing link or history to the specific environment, which often results in new and unusual methods of working.
Past works have included the use of organic materials, foodstuffs (butter, fish skins, chicken skins, internal animal organs such as caul fat, lamb intestines, cow rectums; rice, and watercress) and dead or fallen trees inverted and covered with precious metals (gold, silver, copper).
She represented Macedonia at the 55th Venice Biennale in 2013, and was commissioned by the Vatican for the Pavilion of the Holy See at the 56th International Art Exhibition Venice Biennale in 2015.
At MacDowell, Hadzi-Vasileva took daily two- to three-hour walks, taking photographs and collecting one fallen tree branch each day and photographing the locations of the branches. She then cleaned the branches and gilded them with Dutch metal and created charcoal tracing drawings of the bark. With all of her branches, she created an installation in her studio that she then photographed. Finally, she returned the branches to their original locations and took a final photograph.