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Artist Name(s) Jason Ellis
Artwork title -hedra
Context/Background -hedra is a sculpture that forms part of the submission entitled 4am by dePaor Architects for the International Show at the 12th Venice Architecture Biennale, which ran from August to November 2010. Tom dePaor was one of a selection of architects invited to submit to the International Show by the director of the 12th Biennale, renowned architect Kazuyo Sejima.


4am is a 5-metre high linen-clad timber structure, “a dog-leg staircase”, which deals with the themes of sleeplessness and melancholy. Lit by a solitary 60-watt bulb contained within a Murano glass shade (designed by Simon Walker) the structure dwells in a semi darkness that viewers have described as either comforting or disconcerting. During the exhibition the timber was oiled regularly with lavender oil, enhancing the somnambulant mood of the installation.
-hedra is a 100Kg piece of hand-carved Kilkenny limestone, located beneath the dog-leg staircase, and is based on the enigmatic polyhedron found in Albrecht D?rer’s Melancholia I from 1514. The polyhedron has been interpreted by Alberto Giacometti and Anselm Kiefer, amongst others. In this instance, Ellis has remained close to D?rer’s original themes of repulsion and malevolence.


The project was featured in the official biennale catalogue.


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 Other
Commissioner Name dePaor Architects
Commissioning process Direct
Project commission dates April 30, 2010 - June 30, 2010
Public Presentation dates August 27, 2010 - November 21, 2010
Artform Visual Arts,Architecture
Funded By Other
Budget Range 0 - 10000 euro
Project commission start date 30/04/2010
Project commission end date 30/06/2010
Location Palazzo delle Esposizioni, Giardini, Venice
County International
Content contributor(s) Jason Ellis
Relationship to project Artist (-hedra)