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OLGA NORONHA at ModaLisboa à la carte

A journey into the hypnagogic realm: mind awake, body asleep

Olga Noronha invites us to delve into the depths of the hypnagogic hallucination at the Museum of Contemporary Art during ModaLisboa. Hypnagogic hallucinations, experienced during the transition to non-rapid eye movement sleep, flood the senses with vivid, high-contrast imagery, offering an array of fluid and geometric forms. Immerse yourself in this surreal world.


Photos João Fernandes

Beauty Antonia Rosa and team with Clarins

Hair Bruno Bessa Cruz

Madalena Pegado at Central Models Tany Aguiar and Milena Cunha
at Da Banda Model Management Ariana Soeiro at Best Models

Words Kelly Bernardo


Olga Noronha, a designer, sculptur and researcher hailing from Porto with over a decade of experience in the industry, holds a Master’s in Design Research from Goldsmiths College, University of London, and completed her doctorate with merit at the same university. Her academic and artistic journey has taken her across the globe, collaborating with institutions such as Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, Winthrop University, and more. Olgas’s work bridges the gap between scientific pragmatism and artistic conceptualism.

Her HIPNAGOGIA – “mind awake, body asleep” collection is an exploration of the hypnagogic experience, where sensory hallucinations unveil a vivid mosaic of contrasting figures. This surreal journey oscillates between fluid and harmonious shapes and precise geometric forms. Within the ethereal space of the Museum of Contemporary Art / the runway of ModaLisboa, visitors had the privilege to step into Olga’s world. Four models, adorned in the collection’s enigmatic pieces, stood as living canvases. The remaining garments dangled on the sides, suspended as if they were floating independently.

ZOOT had the chance to chat with Olga by WhatsApp to to learn a little bit more about her installation.

In this most recent series “Hipnagogia” I used mainly celluloid, a unique and endangered material. I also wanted to reveal and present to the public some of my latest creations: the chemical paintings.

—Olga Noronha



Magdalena as
𝘔𝘰𝘪𝘳𝘢’𝘴 𝘭𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘵 𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘮𝘪𝘥𝘥𝘭𝘦 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘤𝘳𝘰𝘸𝘥


© ModaLisboa | Photo: Ugo Camera





Olga about her inspiration for “Hipnagogia” …

All the pieces in this series are inspired by hypnagogic hallucinations, i.e. visions and sensations (visual, tactile, and auditory) that appear in a rearrangement of time and mental space at a moment when we are falling asleep. Reinterpreting my own testimony and that of others, these hallucinations are reported by the appearance/visualisation of chimerical figures which, for some, are highly geometric and exact and, for others, very fluid and misshapen. For this reason, working with the material to give them form is meticulous and requires many years of practice, which I have been working on and developing on my own since 2018.



Tany as

Sou pétalas de flor que desconheço.
Bem-me-quer? Mal-me-quer?…
Bem me quer.


I’m the petals of a flower I don’t know.
Do I want to? You don’t want me…
You want me.




© ModaLisboa | Photo: Ugo Camera





Olga about her research …

Like the shapes, the colours of the materials were chosen based on the accounts of witnesses who have experienced hypnagogic hallucinations and who cite the visualisation of very strong shades and high contrasts, as you can see in the pieces “Guelra” and “Cuca”, but also the abstract symbiosis of various colours, giving rise to chemical paintings – such as “Bem-me-quer” and “Miríade”.



Ariana as

Imposta a um sono profundo. Asas que prendem
e fazem adormecer.


Imposed on a deep sleep. Wings that hold
and make you fall asleep.



© ModaLisboa | Photo: Ugo Camera 




Olga about her creative process…

“Hipnagogia” came about with the intention of reporting something unique and unusual, both as an event and as something that happens more than once to the same person. The creative process always depends on the moment and circumstances in which I start schematising, producing and, also, the type of concept. It always depends on the materials that I think best suit and express what I feel and want to pass on to the public.




Milena as

O meu peito emana luz.


My chest emanates light.



© ModaLisboa | Photo: Ugo Camera




Luísa Mota’s “Os Invisíveis” [Crystal Beings] were present at the presentation of the series as vigilant figures and guardians of the “Hipnagogia” pieces.

—Olga Noronha



© ModaLisboa | Photo: Ugo Camera


Adding an otherworldly dimension to the experience were the Crystal Beings, or Os Invisíveis by Luisa Mota. These ethereal guardians made their presence felt, watching over and protecting the art pieces, enhancing the enigmatic atmosphere of the exhibition.





To boot…

View the complete OLGA NORONHA installation here at ModaLisboa.

View more of Olga´s work and read her interview here at ZOOT.


@olganoronha__official | www.olganoronha.com

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