The Chicago Tree Project (CTP) is a collaborative initiative between the Chicago Park District and Chicago Sculpture International. The CTP is an annual citywide effort to transform sick and dying trees into vibrant public art rather than cutting them down. Using art as a vessel for public engagement, sculptors transform trees into fun and whimsical experiences for the greater Chicago community. Each year, twelve new trees are installed throughout the city. A complete map and more information can be found at www.chicagotreeproject.org
Artist's Statement: Starting at the bottom and working my way to the top, I have painted and tightly wrapped the entire trunk of the tree in rope, string, outdoor canvas fabric, colored burlap, rubber tubing, extension cords, hoses and other pliable industrial materials. Alternating materials, I wrapped each section of material in a horizontal band, then secured the ends and middle of each wrapped section of material into the tree with screws.
The intent of this piece is collaboration between human-made objects and nature to create a hybrid of the natural and industrial world that reflects the urban environment. Trees and plants in the urban environment are natural, but planned, planted and circumscribed in spaces designed and created by humans, and one idea behind this piece is our need to control nature in the built environment and the struggle to live with nature while maintaining an orderly city. Another idea is a strikingly unusual imaginary world created with remnants and pieces of objects from everyday life that becomes an escape from the routine.