The knotted gun was originally created as a memorial tribute to John Lennon when he was shot and killed outside his home in New York City on the December 8, 1980.
The idea with the knotted gun was to tribute John Lennon for his vision of a world with less violence. In many of his songs both as part of the famous pop group the Beatles, as a solo artist and together with his wife Yoko Ono the lyrics were centred around the message of a world without violence.
“You may say that I’m a dreamer
But I am not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will live as one…”
Excerpts of the lyrics from Imagine written and performed for the first time in 1971. Imagine has been voted one the best songs of all times.
Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd
The artist behind the knotted gun is the Swedish artist Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd, When John Lennon was shot and killed, Yoko Ono asked him to create a tribute to John and his vision of a more peaceful world. That’s how the knotted gun came about.
Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd is not only one of Sweden’s internationally most famous artists. He is also a prominent writer. In the 60´s he became famous for avant-garde writings like ”Cornering the discipline on board” and ”Prix Nobel”. In 1988 he was successful as the author of his memoirs ”Look I am invisible” in which he tells the story of his childhood and adolescence.
A symbol for peace and non-violence
Initially the knotted gun was placed at Strawberry Fields memorial in Central Park. It is just across the street from where John Lennon and Yoko Ono lived.
In 1988 a bronze sculpture of the knotted gun was placed outside the United Nations headquarters in New York. Kofi Annan, former UN Secretary General and Nobel Peace Laureate stated the following:
“The sculpture Non-Violence has not only endowed the United Nations with a cherished work of art; it has enriched the consciousness of humanity with a powerful symbol that encapsulates, in a few simple curves, the greatest prayer of man; that which asks not for victory, but for peace”
Since the placement at the United Nations, we have placed the Non-Violence sculpture at more than 30 strategic places around the world, including, the Olympic Museum in Lausanne, at the Waterfront in Cape Town and in the Peace Park in Beijing, China.