Yoko Ono Comes to London and Wants Your Smile

Bonnie Alter/CC BY 3.0

It's Yoko! and she's in London for her new show, To the Light, at the Serpentine Gallery. Give the woman credit: at 79 years she can still inspire controversy and admiration.

Bonnie Alter/CC BY 3.0

Certainly her message of peace and love has stayed true over the decades--she created her conceptual artwork, Wish Tree, in 1981. There is a version outside the gallery: 5 Benjamina Ficus trees. Members of the public have already started to tie tags onto the trees on which they have scribbled their wishes for peace. All the wishes (over 1.4 million) from the Wish Tree will be housed at the site of the Imagine Peace Tower, a memorial to John Lennon on an island near Reykjavík, Iceland.

© Yoko Ono FLY, 1970 Directed by Yoko Ono Film still

For a long time Yoko Ono was under-estimated and under-rated. She was at the forefront of conceptual art: John Lennon famously said that "She's the teacher and I'm the pupil. I'm the famous one, the one who's supposed to know everything, but she's my teacher. She's taught me everything I f*cking know."

Bonnie Alter/CC BY 3.0

Art on display includes several videos, a maze, a withered apple on a plinth from 1996 and a newly created site-specific outdoor chess set.

Bonnie Alter/CC BY 2.0

You can be part of her art! It's #smilesfilm, specially created for the Serpentine. Send your smile and you will be part of the wall on the side of the gallery. As she says

People from cities and countries around the world will be able to freely upload and send their smiles by mobile phone and computer to the world and it's (sic) people. Each time we add our smiles to #smilesfilm, we are creating our future, together. Give us your smile! I love you!

Bonnie Alter/CC BY 2.0 The trees on June 27, 2012

Remember: "When people ask me what the most important thing is in life, I answer: just breathe"

Tags: Artists | Environmental Policy | London | Music

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