Have you ever wondered what the story is behind that big black sculpture in Volunteer Park? The Black Sun sculpture, (not to be confused with the Changing Form steel sculpture in Kerry Park) has often been the centerpiece for iconic Seattle photography, as the view from the sculpture overlooks the Space Needle, the Olympics, Elliott Bay and beyond. It’s inspired generations of onlookers, including Seattle’s own Sound Garden, (remember Black Hole Sun, won’t you come, won’t you come?). But did you know it’s been displayed in the neighborhood since 1969? Internationally renowned artist Isamu Noguchi had a vision to create a fluid and timelessly constructed piece that would appear to move as the sun does, creating a steadfast relationship between the actual sun, and the artwork itself.
Courtesy of the City of Seattle Archives, Installation circa 1969
Black Sun was a gift donated to the City of Seattle from the Seattle Foundation, with funding support from National Endowment for the Arts. Noguchi etched the stone to capture the organic forms found in nature, and the sculpture is made out of Brazilian granite form materials, measuring 9ft in diameter. Installation took place in 1969, and has been drawing crowds of tourists and locals alike ever since. If you haven’t been to the park in a while, take advantage of this beautiful weather and snap a shot of the skyline through the hole of the sculpture, or put your headphones in and zone out with Chris Cornell.