Since the 1960s, William Pye has created sculptures inspired by the thunderbolts and whirlpools of Greek mythology and the behaviour of the natural landscape around him. You can see his public artworks the world over. Right outside the entrance to Weston Park Museum is his dramatic Double Somersault – one of our top 3 Sheffield artworks.
The piece was commissioned by Sheffield’s Children’s Hospital over the road in 1976, where it originally sat in front of the hospital's red brick Tudor end. This iconic work of polished twisted stainless steel tubes is playful and incredibly resilient – the form, flow and mirrored surface strike a harmony with the bustle of traffic on Western Bank and with the many people who must visit the hospital opposite.
The sculpture has certainly established a weight beyond its physical mass; a coiled spring, shooting vertical tubes and perfectly sharpened points, it's a twofold invocation of the beauty found in nature and in industrial craftsmanship. Positioned between the museum, hospital and university, it reflects (quite literally) the city’s capacity for medicine, art and civic welfare.
- Words by
- Jane Faram
- Images by
- Will Roberts