Recently, incase you haven’t already heard, I’ve finished university. If I was being honest, I don’t really know what I’m doing with my life. I’m really not used to having free time to myself, and enjoying it. So one of the things I found myself occupying myself with was visiting the Double Fantasy- John Lennon and Yoko Ono exhibition in the Liverpool museum, which is situated on the docks. The exhibition will run from the 18th Of May 2018 to the 22 April 2019 so there is still plenty of time to go and see it if you can!
This exhibition is beautifully presented. The overall experience is wonderful. As you walk round and you can discover the projects both Lennon and Ono worked on throughout their careers. The exhibition, which was opened by Ono herself, draws together the stories and memories in a walk through timeline displaying features from their lives. There are quotes and video clips to accompany as you walk around which give you an insight to their time together. It is hard not to see the love they had for one another, and their dedication to promoting the idea of the world coming together to live in peace. Their dedication to global peace is made apparent through this exhibition which is like non other I have ever experienced.
As somebody who would not class themselves as a massive fan of the Beatles I didn’t really know what to expect from this exhibition. I for one was pleasantly surprised at how interested I was in everything. The exhibition is an interactive one, not only are their things on display that you can see, but equally there are plenty of things to do whilst there but I’ll get into that later.
One of the first things you come across in the exhibit is a handful of chosen extracts from Ono’s book ‘Grapefruit‘. There are some extracts which are dedicated to people such as pianist David Tudor and composer Le Monte Young. They insist activities in which completion results in some kind of artwork in any chosen medium. My favourite of these extracts was:
Maybe it’s because I have a deep rooted fascination with the stars or maybe it’s because I adore music or maybe it’s because Yoko Ono is a creative star herself but I found this artwork beautiful. Perhaps someday I will invest in Grapefruit and see what I too can take from this.
In the exhibition there were many recreations of works by Yoko Ono, and included in this was her work titled ‘Apple‘. The original work involved a single Apple which was left to decompose showing the stages along the way. In this recreation 3 apples are displayed. The concept is to show that even though the appearance is different; it is still the same object. Here we go with another cliché breach yourself, but this work really makes you appreciate the beauty of life and the wonderful things it is capable of.
What kind of music student would I be if I didn’t include something musical? This exhibition is full of music! With the inclusion of records, original writings of song lyrics, a room in which you can hear the music created by Lennon and Ono and a karaoke room, there sits the guitar played by John Lennon. The guitar includes the drawing he did of himself and Ono and then the replica drawing he did at a later date again. This is placed in front of the bed protest replica which Ono and Lennon did. The guitar was incredible to see up-close.
I mentioned earlier that much of the exhibition was interactive.
Placed looking out onto the docks Yoko Ono had installed some recent artworks for the people visiting the exhibition to enjoy. The one pictured above titled ‘Wishing Trees For Liverpool‘, invites people to write down a wish they have and hopefully it will come true. It was so touching to read some of the wishes people wrote and it was lovely to be able to incorporate my own.
There was also a chess board placed on a white table with white chairs that you were able to play on. The only catch was the entire board and all the pieces were white and so you had to remember who’s piece was who’s. This caused great difficulty but was a lot of fun! Though it could be said that I may have only enjoyed it because I won…
Towards the end of the exhibition there was a place in which you could reflect. It included a replica of the ‘Strawberry Fields‘ mosaic which is in Central Park, America. This was put in as a memorial for John Lennon after his death. In this area of the exhibition there is information about how Lennon’s family dealt with his death and the memorial that was put into place. It was quite here and reflective, it was tragically beautiful. Something so peaceful to help understand something so awful.
The final thing I wish to talk about in this exhibition is the ‘Peace Is Power‘ interactive exhibit Ono installed. The piece invites the public to colour over the places on the world map that need peace. It was beautiful to see the maps slowly start to be filled in and the one map completely covered in colour. A fun activity that guides you to the understanding that everyone needs peace.
I can’t recommend this exhibition enough, if you get the chance to see it. I haven’t included everything in this review there is so much more in which I could tell you about. But it is much better seeing it for yourself and interacting and learning as you go. I came out of the exhibit appreciating the works of Yoko Ono and John Lennon and in some ways the Beatles so much more than when I went in.
Some final words from me:
Give Peace A Chance.