Double Somersault

I’ve always liked this. It is a large sculpture that stands outside Sheffield Children’s Hospital.

Double Somersault II

It’s called Double Somersault and is by the artist William Pye. This type of tubular stainless steel structure is fairly typical of his work at that time (nowadays he is better known for his water sculptures).

Double Somersault was erected in 1976 by the Centenary Committee of the Children’s Hospital (with some help from the Arts Council), but it has moved around a little since then. It originally stood on Western Bank, outside the main entrance to the hospital, but had to move along slightly when the entrance was altered. It moved again, as a result of more major changes to the hospital’s entrances, around the corner to Clarkson Street, where it still stands today.

Double Somersault I

I remember stopping to look at Double Somersault during my very first week in Sheffield. I loved its simplicity, the slight asymmetry and the beautiful visual balance. Like many simple and elegant sculptures, it looks as if it was easy to design, but I bet it wasn’t.

William Pye’s website (I really like the favicon, but then, I would.)
A blogpost about William Pye by Stacy Alexander
A very brief biography of William Pye appears on this gallery’s site

3 comments to Double Somersault

  • It is a shame that they moved it from Western Bank, as it is much less prominent in the current location

  • Just changed from Virtual Voyage to match blog address. Like this. Don’t know if you saw Henry Moore at Kew last year but if you’re interested there are a set of photos on my photoblog,

  • I think I’ve seen one of these somewhere in South London, but I can’t quite remember where.

    I know it doesn’t sound very arty, but it reminded me of those puzzles in Christmas crackers.