Peter and Sue Richards
Blanche
2011

LOCATION
Lake Union Park
860 Terry Ave N

FUNDING SOURCE
2000 Pro Parks Levy 1% for Art funds


Blanche is a floating sound sculpture by San Francisco artists Peter Richards and Sue Richards. The artwork is located near the South Lake Union Historic Ships Wharf in Lake Union Park, on a custom float attached to the park's north bulkhead by a ramp.

The artists were inspired by Seattle's boating history and our city's relationship to the Puget Sound and surrounding waterways. They created Blanche to bring Seattleites close to the water and evoke the feeling of being in a boat. The upturned Blanchard Junior Knockabout boat sits above a floating platform and bench and acts as a sound chamber for the water sounds generated by the lake's waves. The Blanchard Boat Company operated on the shore of Lake Union from 1900 to 1963. Working in partnership with the Center for Wooden Boats, a non-profit dedicated to preserving the artifacts and skills of sailing and boatbuilding on Lake Union, Peter and Sue reconfigured the classic sailboat hull into sculpture.

As well as evoking the experience of being underway in a boat, Blanche "serves as a reminder of Lake Union's long boat building traditions," says Peter. The artwork "also celebrates the shape of a well-designed boat hull and the clues it takes from nature."