Black Pool, White Water

Artist Name(s) Jason Ellis
Artwork title Black Pool, White Water
Context/Background The sculpture forms part of the Garda Memorial Garden in Dublin Castle. The social context of this work is strong; the families of the deceased Gardai who are commemorated were rarely given access to the former monument, located in Garda Headquarters in the Phoenix Park, due to security restrictions. It was felt that a more accessible location would be appropriate, hence the choice of the Dubh Linn Garden at Dublin Castle. The project was part-funded by members of the force. 


Black Pool, White Water is a two-part abstract stone sculpture and is one of two newly commissioned works sited in the Memorial Garden. The garden was built to commemorate members of the Garda Síochana who have fallen in the line of duty. Their names are carved on several limestone plaques set into granite masonry around the perimeter of the garden. Black Pool, White Water is carved from Carrara marble and Butler’s Grove limestone, from Kilkenny. The contrasting stones represents the triumph of life (white marble) over death (black limestone).

The second sculpture, Tree Form, was made by Killian Schurmann from cast glass. The two artworks were chosen from those submitted by an invited panel of artists and are complementary in form, both being circular and of similar dimensions (800mm high). Each piece is a commemoration to the memory of the dead and a celebration of life and renewal.

The garden  was designed by Ana Dolan, Senior Architect in the Office of Public Works (OPW), and features a waterfall, seating, lighting and plants.


Official OPW catalogue
The opening of the memorial garden was broadcast on national radio & television on 15 May 2010. 


Born in Cornwall, UK, in 1965, Jason Ellis studied sculpture at the University of Chichester. Following his degree, he trained and worked as a sculpture conservator in London for eight years and Ireland for a further twelve, having moved to Dublin in 1994. In 2006 he left conservation and turned exclusively to producing his own sculpture. His reputation has grown quickly and his work now features in several public and private collections. Public works are sited at Bantry, Galway and Dublin.

The combination of a fine art background and training ‘on the bench’ in conservation has influenced his art practice and his appreciation of the medium of stone and the skill of the artisan is acute. He cites Arp, Hepworth, Brancusi and Gerda Frömel as influences.

Commission Type OPW
Commissioner Name OPW
Commissioning process Limited competition
Project commission dates September 30, 2009 - January 1, 2010
Public Presentation dates May 14, 2010 - January 1, 1970
Artform Visual Arts
Funded By Other
Project commission start date 30/09/2009
Project commission end date 01/01/2010
Location Dubh Linn Garden, Dublin Castle

County Dublin
Content contributor(s) Jason Ellis
Relationship to project Artist 
Associated professionals / Specialists involved

Architect, main contractor, OPW Historic Monuments Section (installation), stone masons, stone cutters (Technical Stonework Ltd.)



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