Sixties singing star Marianne Faithfull co-curating a new exhibition at Tate Liverpool.

The 65-year-old singer- songwriter and actress has taken inspiration from her own life and influences to choose pieces from the Tate collection.

The show, ‘Innocence and Experience’, which runs from April 20 to September 2, is co-curated with the Albert Dock Gallery’s Darren Pih.

And Faithfull has also worked with ex-husband John Dunbar, who co-founded London’s influential Indica Gallery in the mid-1960s, to draw together the artwork going on show.

She said today: “I was brought up to appreciate art and as a teenager was a frequent visitor to what was then the Tate Gallery in London.

“I’ve been fortunate that my life is intertwined with those of artists and performers whose work is a continuing source of inspiration, which has guided the selection of works for this exhibition.

“I’m delighted to be able to work with Tate Liverpool and with John Dunbar to realise this project.”

Faithfull was born in London, but as a child she lived for several years in Ormskirk while her father, a professor of psychology, completed his doctorate at The University of Liverpool.

She began her singing career in 1964 with As Tears Go By reaching the UK top 10, and famously had a relationship with its co-writer Mick Jagger.

During her marriage to John Dunbar, the couple were an integral part of the 60s conceptual and performance art scene, while the Indica was the gallery where John Lennon first met Yoko Ono.

The singer’s choice of artwork for the Tate Liverpool exhibition includes pieces by Yoko Ono, Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud, Balthus, and by William Blake, the latter reflecting her interest in Romanticism.

Yoko Ono: Parts of a Light House (1965), Tate Liverpool 2012.

Previous co-curators include hat designer Philip Treacy, designer Wayne Hemingway and Poet Laureate Carol-Ann Duffy.

Mr Pih said: “We’ve very much enjoyed co-curating this fantastic and diverse Tate Collection display with Marianne. Her artistic influences and experiences permeate the display, and her enthusiasm for the project reflects her life-long love of the visual arts.”

Innocence and Experience: curated by Marianne Faithfull is at Tate Liverpool from April 20 to September 2 Entrance is free.

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Message from Yoko Ono – May 2012

Yoko Ono: Parts of a Light House (1965)

Original ‘Yoko at Indica’ Indica Gallery Catalogue, featuring Yoko Ono (front) and John Dunbar (far left)

Yoko Ono: Parts of a Light House (1965), Indica Gallery Catalogue, photo by Iain Macmillan ©1966 Yoko Ono

From Yoko Ono:

In 1967, John Lennon invited me for lunch at his Kenwood residence in England. It was about six months after we first met in my Indica Gallery Show in London.

He told me that he read about the Light House in my publication and if I would build one for him in his garden.

“Oh, that was a conceptual light house!  I’m convinced that one day, it could be built, but I don’t know how to do it.” I said with a laugh.

“Oh, I thought the Americans had come up with something” was what he said.
And that was that.

I still marvel at the fact that John was touched by that particular concept in my catalogue, and 40 years ago at that!

In 1967, for my Lisson Gallery show in London, I re-wrote the concept more succinctly. This was the way I should have expressed the idea to John in Kenwood, instead of laughing it off:


The light house is a phantom house
that is built by sheer light.

You set up prisms at a certain time of day, under a certain evening light which goes through the prisms, the light house appears in the middle of the field like an image, except that, with this image, you can actually go inside if you wanted to. The light house may not emerge every day, just as the sun doesn’t shine every day.
Yoko Ono, 1965

Rewritten for Lisson Gallery, London, 1967

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