John Bannon

Y Knot?

Hollywood Park
Thorndale and Jersey avenues


About the Tree:

“Y Knot? is a one-hundred-year-old red maple tree. After it died, it was given a new life as part of the Chicago Tree Project. By chance, it was trimmed into a shape resembling a lower case “y”. I carved it to look like a rope tied in a knot, but more than just creating a visual pun, this was my way to honor the old tree. It was done in the purist form of carving, the subtractive method, which allows for the piece to be revealed. Nothing was added. Upon first visiting the site, I knew my original concept would not work and had to be abandoned. After spending an amount of time sitting in front of the tree, looking at it and opening myself up to ideas, it came to me.”

“The rope can be good subject matter for a work of art. It is visually interesting. The twists encourage one to look at all sides while (in this case) directing one’s gaze upwards. It has both geometric and organic form. It!s a human-made vine, one of the earliest tools adapted from nature. The rope has impacted history in countless ways and has many different symbolic interpretations. In this piece, for me, it is a connection that ties one to nature and asks and answers the existential question Why? Y Knot?”

About the Artist:  Chicago artist John E. Bannon creates works of art in a variety of media seen in both public and private collections locally and abroad. Originator of multiple perspective anamorphic sculpture.

Education:  MFA in studio, 2002, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago; BFA in Painting, 1990, The University of Illinois @ Urbana-Champaign.

Educator:  Adjunct Assistant Professor, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago; 2004-2015. Residencies: Oxbow, Penland, Catwalk, Allerton Park.

Collections:  Why Knot?, carved tree sculpture, Chicago Park District; The Test of Time, bronze sculpture at Rowan University, Glassboro, New Jersey; Transit, suspended neon sculpture, Chicago Transit Authority HQ, Chicago, IL; Clune Construction, Chicago; Cellular One, Baltimore.