BY ANDRI NEOCLEOUS
Yoko Ono, a successful artist and peace activist, has a new exhibition in Leeds Art University. Although she is famously known for marrying John Lennon, she also has a reputation for being a pioneer in terms of her commitment to social activism.
Her exhibition, titled ‘Yoko Ono at Leeds’, involves a variety of installations such as ‘Wish Trees’, ‘Mend Piece’, ‘Refugee Boat’, and ‘ARISING’ as well as statements painted on the walls. Visitors are encouraged to interact and add to the installations to provoke a reflection on their own lives and world we share.
Her piece ‘Wish Trees’ involves the hanging of small pieces of paper inscribed with the visitors’ various hopes being hung on a white tree. Most of the hopes share the common theme of wishing
for a fairer world with less judgement and inequality.
‘Mend Piece’ is another interesting piece where visitors are invited to stick broken white cups back together with duct tape with the intention that ‘while doing so, we will consider mending the world’.
One of the most shocking pieces is ‘ARISING’, which explores much darker topics. Female visitors are given the opportunity to share their experiences of sexual harassment and inequality by writing notes underneath a Polaroid picture showing a close-up of their own eyes. This was a very moving piece as the many of the notes written by the women were horrific yet their survival and hope for a better future was inspiring.
Whilst Yoko Ono’s exhibition is very DIY, her message is clear as she demonstrates the want people have of a better world. She also shows how art should be experienced and contemplated rather than something just bought and displayed.
Yoko Ono at Leeds runs until March 14th, 2019.
Cover Image Credit: Yoko Ono's Facebook