William Pye Water Scupture


In Charybdis at Seaham Hall Hotel in Sunderland the circular movement of water inside a transparent acrylic cylinder forms an air-core vortex in the centre. Steps wrap around the cylinder and allow spectators to view the vortex from above.

See the video here

At time of completion Charybdis was William Pye's largest air core vortex water sculpture to date, and he used for only the second time the clear acrylic polymer he employed in Clearwater Cube. This material has enabled Pye to extend his sculptural language and to explore more ways in which to challenge the wayward element of water. A high level of water filtration is essential for maintaining transparency and thereby expressing the drama of the vortex.

Other sculptures featuring a vortex

  • The water rises in the cylinder
  • The water reaches the top and flows over the edge
  • Close-up on the air-core vortex
  • View from above
  • The water falls underground through a narrow slot around the base
  • The acrylic container appears to have no thickness


  • Maquette for Charybdis