The Waters of the River Bush
Public Sculpture Commission for Bushmills
This fountain celebrates the rich natural and cultural heritage of the River Bush and the town of Bushmills, Co. Antrim. It takes as its inspiration a waterfall with jumping salmon - a reference to the Salmon Leap and Walkmills Falls nearby. The overall shape and the hexagonal low-relief bronze plaques in the base section are a reminder of the presence of the nearby Giant's Causeway. These plaques contain imagery that reference the use of the Bush River's water for a variety of historic and present-day uses including grain milling, hydro-energy, the spade mill and whisky distillation.
The 3.80m high fountain consists of a large-scale plate bronze structure, with bronze relief plaques and an integral text/title panel. Gilded highlighting provide a stark contrast to the brown patina which references the colour of the river. The use of direct metalwork (repousse) - thereby avoiding costly and labour intensive processes - allowed the work to be of substantial size within the constrained budget.