Len Lye’s intention for Water Whirler was for “a fantastic choreography, jet-streams flinging their spray in three dimensions”.

Len Lye was a New Zealand born kinetic sculptor, artist, writer and filmmaker based in New York for his last 35 years. The Len Lye Foundation was commissioned to manage the construction of this major posthumous work. 

The motorized pole emits water from jets set into its length as it oscillates, revolves and gyrates creating patterns of motion. 

Motors, springs, pivots and weights control the movement of the tube and were designed together with a computer programme to choreograph the movement and water patterns.

Water Whirler ‘plays’ in 10 minute cycles, on the hour at 10am, 11am, 12pm, 1pm and 3pm; and again hourly from 6pm – 10pm. It only operates in winds of less than 20 knots. 

2006
Flexible fibreglass motorized pole / 12m
Pier off Frank Kitts Park, Wellington Waterfront
A joint commission from the Len Lye Foundation by the Wellington Sculpture Trust and Wellington Waterfront Ltd.  With funding from the NZ Lottery Grants Board

Note/ Water Whirler is undergoing maintenance and is not running - November 2016