Major Yoko Ono Retrospective at Baltic

by Brenda Burrell, The Photography Pages

A big show like this hardly needs introduction and there’s room to be
wary of promoting celebs, but do go and see this, do go. Much of her
work brings forth unquantified emotion, some undoubtedly sentimental,
but other pieces simply bring an unexpected rawness to the surface.

This gallery was full of people laughing.

‘Painting To Let The Evening Light Show Through’ in two versions, were
hung in front of one of the glass gallery walls facing out over the
river with Byker in the distance. The bright winter sunlight sparkled
across the Tyne and did indeed show through.

Most moving were the films of her two performance pieces in which she
invites her audience to cut off her garments piece by piece with a large
pair of scissors. In the 2005 performance she is regal in her detachment
and her participating audience is respectful and in some awe. In 1965
the film shows the fear in her young eyes as a jeering lad jabs at her
bra, slicing decisively through both straps. I remember reading at the
time that she was left completely naked.

Painting To Be Slept On:

Hang it after sleeping on it for more than 100 hours.

We might see a piece in tribute at our new Private View opening next week.

Go and see this work. Fluxus is on the ground floor, too.
No time for that today, but needs revisiting, and the Campbell film about the
life of Bernadette Devlin too. Magnificent to have these here.

Photos & text © 2008/9 Brenda Burrell • All Rights Reserved • 

Chronicle

 

 

Yoko at the Baltic: 14 Dec 2008

             

BEATLE widow and artist Yoko Ono paid a visit to Tyneside to personally launch her biggest ever UK exhibition at the Baltic.

Ono’s appearance was a rare chance for fans of the artist, who was famously married to John Lennon, to hear her talk about her extensive career spanning more than 50 years.

The exhibition Between The Sky And My Head has taken over two floors of the Baltic, with additional works located outside the gallery.
People who gathered in Baltic Square on Sunday night were handed flashlights to send a Morse code signal meaning I Love You into the night sky. A large beam of light will return the message from Newcastle’s Castle Keep nightly from 3.30pm to 8pm until December 31.

There will also be sculpture, paintings, drawing, photography, films and sound installations, as well as participation works.

Yoko Ono was born in 1933 in Tokyo and is regarded as one of the pioneers of conceptual art. In 1952 she became one of the first women in Japan to study philosophy, before moving to the USA. She then married the Beatle John Lennon who was later shot dead in 1980.

Newcastle and Gateshead seem to have left a good impression on the ’60s icon.

She said: “I’m so thrilled I came because seeing is believing. It is so important, the message of Newcastle and Gateshead. It is very interesting what has happened here.

“I know Newcastle and Gateshead from reports in the newspapers. But when you actually come here, you really feel something about it. There’s an incredible power, so I am very interested in that.”

Between the Sky and My Head is at The Baltic until March 15. 

Chronicle

It’s worth interacting with Yoko

by Gordon Barr, Evening Chronicle, Dec 15 2008

Young reviewer VICTORIA WATSON attended Yoko Ono
Between the Sky and My Head, at the Baltic until March 15 next year

WAITING for Ms Ono’s performance to begin, the excitement was palpable
as a lucky few waited for the living icon to take to the stage.

This talk-in sold out within minutes, which really says something about
the interest which surrounds Yoko.

This exhibit is composed of work from the 1960s to the present day.
Sketches, video installations and prints make up much of the work on
display, however my personal interest lay with the interactive pieces.

My Mummy is Beautiful is a piece which asks visitors to share photos,
messages and memories of their mothers and attach them to blank
canvases, which will then be returned to Yoko’s New York home.

Wish Trees positioned in Saltwell Park invite visitors to share their
hopes and dreams on pieces of paper and then hang them on the trees. The
wishes will later be sent to the Imagine Peace Tower in Iceland to join
wishes from around the world.

Pacing the stage like a caged animal, 75-year-old Yoko shows no signs of
slowing down. Her irrepressible lust for pushing artistic boundaries had
her at one stage crawling on the floor trying to “make a good
relationship with the chair”.

She showed a video for Walking on Thin Ice – the song she and John
Lennon had been recording the evening he was killed by Mark Chapman –
while she danced around the stage, stopping only to throw chess pieces
into the audience.

Encouraging questions from the audience, Ms Ono was happy to regale us
with tales from her life with John Lennon, lighting up as she talked
about him.

Her Onochord event, where beams of light spell out “I love you” from the
Castle Keep in Newcastle to the Baltic, is a demonstration of her
dedication to peace and freedom.

Yoko is politically engaged, highly intelligent and appears to want
everyone to be armed with enough knowledge to change the world.

This is why many of her pieces are interactive: She wants to encourage
people’s participation in her art but also in life. However, there are
some pieces in the exhibition that are near the knuckle.

Like Yoko Ono herself, this wonderfully diverse exhibition is not for
the faint-hearted.

Interview: Yoko Ono on her Newcastle visit

By David Whetstone, The Journal, 15 Dec 2008

Yoko Ono explains to David Whetstone why she was so intrigued
to visit Gateshead and Newcastle.

Having her photograph taken on the Gateshead Millennium Bridge
yesterday, Yoko Ono exchanged a few friendly words with a busker.

Later, perched on the edge of a red sofa in a Baltic office, she
explains: “I was married to a musician so I’m always concerned about
buskers.”

I have to smile. In the 20th Century’s conceptual hall of fame, the late
John Lennon is probably acknowledged as more than just “a musician”.

But where does this leave the woman who became his second wife on March
20, 1969, in Gibraltar? On every Lennon/Beatles website, Yoko is at
least a footnote.

Some have blamed her for the break-up of the group they called the Fab
Four, driving a wedge between John and the rest. More generous pundits
have pointed to the meeting of John and Yoko as a positive thing and the
break-up of The Beatles as inevitable.

Yoko, who smiles a lot and speaks softly, is framed within the arc of
the Tyne Bridge, visible through the picture window behind her head.

“I’m so thrilled I came because seeing is believing,” she says. “It is
so important, the message of Newcastle and Gateshead. It is very
interesting what has happened here.”

By its nature, the Yoko Ono exhibition which opened at Baltic yesterday
– and which she confirms is her biggest in the UK – will evolve. So much
is required of the public that what you see on March 15, when it closes,
will be bigger and busier than what you see this week.

I wonder if she’d be curious enough to come back and see how people have
responded to her artistic challenges.

“I’d like to come back because Newcastle and Gateshead, both of them, I
know from reports in the newspapers. But when you actually come here,
you really feel something about it. There’s an incredible power, so I am
very interested in that.”

But back to the question of identity. If you thought of Yoko Ono
principally as the widow of a rock superstar, you will find evidence in
this huge and entertaining exhibition that she has always merited public
attention in her own right.

She thinks maybe she came to Newcastle in the 1960s. “I have been to
many different cities but I believe Newcastle asked me to give a
lecture.” John was in the city in the 1960s, I say. I’ve seen the
pictures of screaming girls at the City Hall. Quickly she says: “This
was before John.”

When they met in 1966 in London, he was famous and she had already made
waves in avant garde art circles.

I wonder if her marriage to Lennon, which ended violently with his
murder in 1980, overshadowed her progress as an artist.

“In a way, yes,” she says. “But I think the most important thing for an
artist is to not dry up. You have to keep the creativity and
inspiration. I was with John and we were so much in love and we
exchanged so much between us. He was from Liverpool, I come from Tokyo –
very different environments. But that exchange was very important to
me.”

Much of the work we see at Baltic, she says, would probably be much as
it was even if her fateful meeting with Lennon in a London art gallery
had never taken place. But she acknowledges the power of fame.

“Many of the pieces would be the same because I was already a conceptual
artist. But I don’t know how much the message would have communicated in
terms of distance and volume.” The word “participatory” figures in many
of the captions to the Baltic exhibits.

She says: “I think this was very important for me because I observed
most artists had an incredible ego. They just wanted everything to be
just so for eternity. As a rebel, which I was, I didn’t like that.
That’s one of the reasons John and I met, because we were both rebels.”

Born in Tokyo in 1933, Yoko’s mother was a painter and her father was “a
very good pianist”.

“I had two uncles and one was a painter and one was a sculptor and there
was this atmosphere of art in my life. But I wanted not to become one of
the clones of them so I had to find my own way. I became avant garde
whereas they were classical. I wouldn’t say they approved but they were
very intelligent and kind.”

She recalls, though, that her mother was also “rather domineering” when
it came to art. Young Yoko would start to draw and her mother would want
to show her how it should be done.

So Yoko asks everyone to take part. In one famous early piece of
performance art, she invited people to cut pieces of her clothes away
until she was left naked. I ask Yoko to explain the title of the
exhibition, Between the Sky and my Head, and she indicates the void
above her white trilby-style hat and says: “It’s where all the
inspiration comes from.” Elaborating, she explains that we all have this
little invisible well of inspiration even if many of us don’t exploit
it. “It depends on whether you accept it or not.”

This sounds a bit religious, I suggest. Yoko says: “I’d say I’m what
you’d call an agnostic. I feel I believe in my kind of power but I feel
God is within us – if there is such a thing.”

Love and peace are the messages John and Yoko promulgated and they
remain dominant themes in Yoko’s work.

Onochord, the public work she orchestrated last night in Baltic Square,
has been done many times since the 9/11 atrocity. “After that,” she
recalls, “I went around the world like crazy, probably about 20 cities a
year, and just did that. I keep doing it to spread the word.”

She and John campaigned against the war in Vietnam and now we have Iraq,
Afghanistan and war zones aplenty. Yet she seems sweetly nonplussed when
I ask if it makes her pessimistic that there are still so many
warmongers in the world.

“We are not trying to twist their arms to make them do something,” she
says.

“I really think we have to be patient. I really think that now 99% of
the world is really wanting peace and only the 1% is trying to make a
big mess out of the place.

“I believe the world where we can all live in love and peace is just
around the corner.”

For Yoko, the glass is always much more than half full.

John Lennon once told reporters: “We’re humorists; we’re Laurel & Hardy,
that’s John and Yoko.” This was after their famous ‘bed-in’, when they
took to their bed in an Amsterdam hotel in a campaign for world peace.

Perhaps we shouldn’t be too surprised at the humour in Yoko’s exhibition
at the Baltic, even if the themes it deals with are also patently
serious.

Outside the building you will see the Coffin Car, a Daimler hearse in
which you can book a ride. It’s inscribed: “Ride a coffin car all over
the city. Yoko Ono, 1962.”

OK, so the humour is rather black. But there’s jollier stuff to be found
inside.

We’re All Water consists of a row of jars of water, each labelled with
the name of a famous person: Henri Matisse, Fidel Castro, Max Ernst, 50
Cents. There’s a blank jar which you can name yourself.

Amaze is a maze of see-through plastic. Two people are allowed in at a
time and it’s probably best not to run. If you do, you risk blunting
your nose, as a succession of children demonstrated yesterday.

You are invited to leave a wish on the wish trees or a message to or
about your mother. Someone had written: “Well, she was meant to be here
but ‘Strictly’ was on and the weather was awful. That happens a lot. So
she’s taught me to be your own person.”

There are installations involving stepladders and mounds of earth and
white nylon ropes anchored to look like the rays of the sun.

To appreciate some exhibits you have to squint through a peephole, as in
Bastet, 1990, which comprises “45 patinated bronze cats, granite,
electrical wiring. light bulbs”. Peep through the holes – one just
inches off the ground – and the result is startling and eerie.

There are a series of meticulous drawings done over a period of years
which show a side of the artist most of us don’t know. This is delicate,
appealing and introspective.

On the other hand, there is Fly, which shows flies buzzing over a naked
female body and seems designed to shock.

There is a new piece for Gateshead, Discarded Culture 2008, which
features an untidy pile of 1,000 second hand books and two framed
photographs – one showing fascist book burning and the other two
children gazing at a huge TV. It’s self-explanatory.

Children should enjoy the exhibition because there are things to do.
They can take part in Mending Piece which invites you to “think of
mending the world” while you mend a broken cup or saucer. It is not
overly intellectual.

Godfrey Worsdale, the new director of Baltic, said: “This is a very
substantial exhibition by a very substantial artist and it is still
being formed. Yoko was very inspired by what she has seen here and
wanted to make a new work.”

He added: “Baltic still has a small percentage of its visitors from
overseas but a show like this will certainly bring people from all over
and a lot of the audience will be new to contemporary art because they
know of Yoko as a media figure. It will be fantastic in developing new
audiences for us.”

Love, peace and a laugh along the way:
50 years of Yoko Ono the artist

guardian.co.uk home
by Mark Brown, The Guardian
Monday 15 December 2008

Yoko Ono brought love, peace and even a glimpse of death to Tyneside
yesterday, with the opening of one of her biggest exhibitions in Europe.
Outside the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead was a
“coffin car”, a hearse in other words. Visitors can hire it for a spin,
during which they may contemplate their final passage (in the front
seat, curators were keen to point out).

“I do that not to frighten people but to make them understand how
precious every day is,” Ono told the Guardian. “I do as much complaining
as other people but when I think about it I realise how lucky we are to
have these days.”

Ono was the star guest at the show’s opening over the weekend. The
exhibition is a full retrospective of her 50-year career as a conceptual
artist and a leading figure in the Fluxus art movement.

Co-curator Alessandro Vincentelli said he thought Ono sometimes did not
get the credit she deserved. “She has a genuine commitment to her work
and has a wider message that we can all have a real impact in making
things happen.”

Ono spent Saturday afternoon writing on the Baltic’s walls. Statements
such as: “This room gets as wide as an ocean at the other end.” And:
“Stay until the room is blue.” And: “This room slowly evaporates every
day.”

The exhibition is participatory, from the silicone body parts that you
squeeze or stroke to the canvases on which you write thoughts of your
mother. Ono said she had her late husband in mind. “Initially when I
made the piece I thought of John because John was always talking about
his mother, she was such a focus in his life. Also I felt I didn’t say I
love you enough to my mother, so in a way everyone expressing their
feelings to their mothers is very nice.”

Elsewhere, in a room with the sound of birds recorded in Gateshead,
there are second world war-era German helmets with blue jigsaw pieces
inside. Visitors are told to “take a piece of sky. Know that we are all
part of each other”.

Running at the same time, an exhibition called The Dream of Fluxus
explores the often impenetrable movement of the 60s and 70s, which was
anti-art, with discordant music and elaborate jokes. She said people who
did not get Fluxus “totally miss the sense of humour. In a nice way it
is a big joke, laughter is so important in our lives.”

The main message, of course, is peace and love. Ono said: “Hopefully
people might get more interested in peace and love. I think it makes a
difference, when we did bed-in people were laughing, but I don’t think
they’re laughing now.”

Smile

The Independent
Observations: Lennon’s smile travels north

By Emma Love, The Independent
Friday, 12 December 2008

They say if you smile the world smiles with you. Perhaps that’s what
Yoko Ono will be hoping when she projects her 1968 Film No 5 (Smile), a
film of John Lennon’s smile that evolves over 51 minutes, on to some of
Newcastle’s most famous landmarks as part of her new exhibition at the
Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art.

‘Between the Sky and My Head’, which opens on Sunday, is one of the
largest exhibitions of Ono’s work to date and comprises pieces from the
Fifties to the present day.

As well as sculpture, paintings, drawing, photography, films and sound
installations by the woman John Lennon once described as “the world’s
most famous unknown artist: everybody knows her name but nobody knows
what she does”, there’s plenty to see outside the exhibition.

After an artist’s talk to open the show, Ono will invite the audience to
send and receive “I love you” messages with small flashlights to and
from the town’s Castle Keep. There will be wish trees, where visitors
can write their wishes on paper and hang them from the branches, a huge
Imagine Peace banner hanging from the gallery building and a
participatory piece named My Mommy is Beautiful, for which people will
be invited to bring along photographs and memories of their mothers. The
photographs and memories will be permanently attached to blank canvases
and sent to Ono in New York when the exhibition ends next March.

www.balticmill.com/yokoono


Yoko Ono is one of the pioneers of conceptual art and has an international exhibition career spanning nearly 50 years. From Sunday 14 December, BALTIC will present the two-floor exhibition Yoko Ono   BETWEEN THE SKY AND MY HEAD, comprising work by Yoko Ono from 1950s to the present.
The exhibition, one of the largest exhibitions of Yoko Ono’s work to date, is a major collaborative project with Kunsthalle Bielefeld, Germany, and will occupy two floors of BALTIC with additional works located outside the gallery.

Yoko Ono has a strong and irrepressible desire for freedom. This desire can be immediately recognised in her Imagine Peace billboards which will be located in prominent locations. Ono’s Wish Trees invite visitors to express their hopes and dreams by writing wishes on paper and hanging them on Wish Trees installed close to BALTIC. These wishes will be gathered at the end of the exhibition, and sent to the IMAGINE PEACE TOWER in Videy Island, Iceland, to join the rest of the wishes from around the world. Another work, SkyLadder – which might be read as an allegory for the exhibition’s title, BETWEEN THE SKY AND MY HEAD - invites us to consider an imaginary, spiritual space centred between the sky and earth.

Inside BALTIC, the exhibition will cover more than 1400m square of gallery space containing sculpture, paintings, drawing, photography, films and sound installations, as well as participation works. Among the 50 works featured in the exhibition is Play it by Trust, a conceptual chess set, made from white Italian Carrara marble. A version of the work was first exhibited in London at Ono’s legendary exhibition at the Indica Gallery in 1966.

Another work, My Mommy is Beautiful, is a participatory piece in which visitors to BALTIC are invited to bring photographs of their mothers, along with thoughts and memories about their mothers, to be permanently attached to the blank canvases. At the conclusion of the exhibition, the filled canvases will be sent to the artist in New York.

YOKO ONO   BETWEEN THE SKY AND MY HEAD will be accompanied by a 208-page exhibition catalogue edited by Thomas Kellein, director of the Kunsthalle Bielefeld, published by Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther Kšnig, Cologne and will be available from BALTIC Shop.

 

Yoko Ono: Between The Sky and My Head: Outdoor Artworks

Throughout December

The outdoor artworks form part of the 2008 NewcastleGateshead Winter Festival where a number of ambitious works by Yoko Ono will be located in prominent locations around NewcastleGateshead. ONOCHORD, a work where Ono uses light to form a code spelling out ‘I Love You’ or ‘., .., …’ will be presented as a large projection of light from the Castle Keep, Newcastle. Alongside this, Yoko Ono’s Film No. 5 (Smile), made in 1968, will be projected onto existing buildings in NewcastleGateshead across several evenings. The film, shot with a high-speed camera, records a single smile of John Lennon that evolves over the course of fifty-one minutes. As part of Enchanted Parks in Saltwell Park, Gateshead, (Thurs 4 – Sun 14 Dec) Ono will present Wish Trees for Gateshead – where visitors are invited to express their hopes and dreams by writing wishes on paper and hanging them on one of the trees.

The outdoor artworks form part of the major retrospective YOKO ONO   BETWEEN THE SKY AND MY HEAD at BALTIC from Sun 14 Dec 08 until Sun 15 Mar 09.

YOKO ONO   BETWEEN THE SKY AND MY HEAD outdoor artworks form part of NewcastleGateshead’s world-class programme of festivals and events developed by culture 10.


 The Independent                                                             

Coming Soon: Yoko Ono shines in her own right

Unfairly dismissed as Mrs John Lennon, Ono actually helped to found the Fluxus Group in 1961 and has been a fully paid-up member of the avantgarde ever since.

Unfairly dismissed as Mrs John Lennon, Ono actually helped to found the Fluxus Group in 1961 and has been a fully paid-up member of the avantgarde ever since.

f there are no Picassos now, we do at least have Yoko Ono (pictured). Unfairly dismissed as Mrs John Lennon, Ono actually helped to found the Fluxus Group in 1961 and has been a fully paid-up member of the avant-garde ever since. Her art and career are the subject of a richly deserved (and doubtless suitably wacky) show, Between the Sky and My Head, at the Baltic in Gateshead (0191-478 1810, 14 December-15 March).

From The Independent.


 
Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art Confirms List of Works to be Shown by Yoko Ono in December

Yoko Ono, Skyladder 2008. Gilded wooden ladder and base 325 x 36 x 90cm. Photographer Philipp Ottendör fer. Originally published in Yoko Ono’s GRAPEFRUIT, New York 1970. Courtesy of the artist and Kunsthalle Bielefeld. Yoko Ono is one of the pioneers of conceptual art and has an international exhibition career spanning nearly 50 years. From Sunday 14 December, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art will present YOKO ONO Between the Sky and My Head, comprising work by Yoko Ono from the 1950s to the present day. 

The exhibition, one of the largest exhibitions of Yoko Ono’s work to date, is a major collaborative project with Kunsthalle Bielefeld, Germany curated by Thomas Kellein and Jon Hendricks and will occupy two floors of BALTIC with additional works located outside the gallery. 

The exterior artworks form part of the 2008 NewcastleGateshead Winter Festival and are located in prominent locations around Newcastle & Gateshead. ONOCHORD, a work where Ono uses light to form a code spelling out “I Love You” or “•, ••, •••” will be presented as a large projection of light from the Castle Keep, Newcastle for a limited number of weeks from Sunday 14 December. A special participatory event incorporating ONOCHORD will take place outside BALTIC on Sunday 14 December at 6.00pm. Visitors to BALTIC Square will be invited to send and receive “I Love You” messages from and to the Castle Keep. 

Yoko Ono’s Film No. 5 (Smile), made in 1968, will be projected onto existing landmarks in NewcastleGateshead across several evenings. The film, shot with a high-speed camera, records a single smile of John Lennon that evolves over the course of fifty-one minutes. As part of Enchanted Parks in Saltwell Park, Gateshead, (Thurs 4 – Sun 14 Dec) Ono will present Wish Trees for Gateshead – where visitors are invited to express their hopes and dreams by writing wishes on paper and hanging them on one of the trees. Additional Wish Trees will be located at BALTIC throughout the exhibition. Wishes from all the trees will be gathered at the end of the exhibition, and sent to the IMAGINE PEACE TOWER in Videy Island, Iceland, to join the rest of the wishes from around the world. 

Yoko Ono has a strong and irrepressible desire for freedom. This desire can be immediately recognised in her Imagine Peace billboards; BALTIC will be presenting an Imagine Peace banner measuring an impressive 14.5 metres by 18 metres situated on the north face of BALTIC’s landmark building. 

Inside BALTIC, the exhibition will cover more than 1400m² of gallery space containing sculpture, paintings, drawing, photography, films and sound installations, as well as participation works. Among the 50 works featured in the exhibition is Play it by Trust, a conceptual chess set, made from white Italian Carrara marble. A version of the work was first exhibited in London at Ono’s legendary exhibition at the Indica Gallery in 1966. 

Another work, SkyLadder – which might be read as an allegory for the exhibition’s title, BETWEEN THE SKY AND MY HEAD – invites us to consider an imaginary, spiritual space centred between the sky and earth. My Mommy is Beautiful, is a participatory piece in which visitors to BALTIC are invited to bring photographs of their mothers, along with thoughts and memories about their mothers, to be permanently attached to the blank canvases. At the conclusion of the exhibition, the filled canvases will be sent to the artist in New York. 

Festival’s feel-good Glow

Lights projected onto the West Walls on Bath Lane
AFTER-dark fairy tales, striking light projections, illuminating
art-mobiles and a touch of exterior design from Yoko Ono will ensure
Tyneside is bathed in a warm glow throughout December.

Yesterday saw the official launch of the fifth Newcastle Gateshead
Winter Festival, and if all goes to plan, the organisers have more than
served the assumption that you have to aim for better than what has gone
before.

I was on maternity leave last year and missed all the festivities. But I
have it on good authority that the 2007 event was pretty damn good.

So this year’s festival, which forms part of Newcastle Gateshead’s
world-class programme developed by culture, had a lot to live up to.

First up is the return of Enchanted Parks which delighted thousands of
people from the confines of Leazes and Saltwell parks last year. This
year the activity has been focused on Gateshead’s Saltwell Park and is
themed around winter stories and adventures. More than a dozen
installations will combine to create a magical setting for an after-dark
walk for all the family.

An ice queen’s melting heart, a snow globe, a magical garden and Yoko
Ono’s Wish Trees are among the attractions which will shine a light on
the park from December 4 to 14. It is one of three outdoor elements
being contributed by artist and musician Ono. Her part in the festival
makes up a slice of the largest exhibition to date of her works from
1961 to the present date at the Baltic in Gateshead. A Morse code
message which will spell out I Love You to the Castle Keep from Baltic
and back, and a projection of her 1968 film which records a single smile
of John Lennon over the course of 51 minutes also make up part of the
Winter Festival proceedings.

Next up on the menu is Glow which will quite literally throw the
spotlight on Newcastle’s rich heritage by using architectural light
projections to illuminate the medieval town walls.

Described as a “visual exercise in Geordie Geography”, the projections
will incorporate black and white images drawn from historic sources,
such as 19th-century maps and Thomas Bewick engravings. Glow will be
illuminating: the West Walls at Gallowgate, Morden Tower, and The House
of Recovery; and the Sallyport Tower on Tower Street, from December 11
to 15.

The closing climax to the Festival will see the return of the
Glowmobiles which thrilled all who saw them last New Year’s Eve. This
year (on the same night) 20 artistically-transformed vehicles will be
stationed at the Baltic and Grey’s Monument before proceeding to
Newcastle Civic Centre for a firework finale.

Three new art cars, including a pedal-powered rickshaw lightship and an
Edvard Munch-inspired I-Scream Van (get it?) have been commissioned for
the occasion. Liz Pugh, producer, said: “Glowmobiles will be a cavalcade
of wheeled and pedalled delights, offering an interactive and playful
combination of costumed characters, illuminated vehicles transformed and
adorned by some of the UK’s leading artists, and a stunning finale at
Newcastle Civic Centre.”

For a full programme and more information, visit
www.visitnewcastlegateshead.com.

Enchanted Parks is a free, but ticketed. Call (0191) 230-5151 or collect
tickets in person at the Northern Stage box office. Early booking is
recommended.

from JournalLive

Coup for Baltic as Yoko Ono signs up

Yoko OnoThe Yoko Ono exhibition at the Baltic will be her biggest UK show for a decade – and the artist will be on hand to open it. The Journal can today reveal details of the exhibition, long in the planning, which suggest it will be one of the hottest attractions at the Gateshead centre for contemporary art since it opened six years ago. Baltic curator Alessandro Vincentelli said the exhibition was a coup for the venue. It will take over the two biggest gallery spaces – levels three and four – at the Baltic and also include some artworks to be installed outside. He said: “There hasn’t been a big Yoko Ono exhibition for 10 years in this country and this is it. We are excited because we have been negotiating all summer. It is great to get it signed off. “It is a major retrospective featuring some 50 works, some of them dating back to the early 1960s, before she met John Lennon. “There will be pieces coming from Brazil, New York and Italy.”

The exhibition, called Between The Sky and my Head, is a cost-sharing collaboration with a German gallery, the Kunsthalle Bielefeld. The work will be displayed there first before it is reconfigured for the Gateshead exhibition later in the year.

Tokyo-born Yoko Ono, who is now 75, is one of the pioneers of conceptual art. She was already well known in art circles when she met John Lennon while setting up an exhibition in London in 1966. They were married three years later. Famously they campaigned for peace by taking to their bed in front of newspaper cameras. She is still campaigning 28 years after John Lennon’s murder by deranged fan Mark David Chapman.

Mr Vincentelli said he recently travelled to Iceland where the artist has installed an elaborate Imagine Peace Tower, comprising a beam of light to be lit each year between Lennon’s birthday on October 9 and the anniversary of his death on December 8. The memorial to Lennon also incorporates thousand of wishes gathered by the artists from members of the public in another project called Wish Tree.

Wish Trees will be installed near Baltic during the North East exhibition, from December 14 to March 15, 2009, with people invited to decorate them with pieces of paper bearing their hopes and dreams.
These will be gathered at the end of the exhibition and sent to Iceland to become part of the Imagine Peace Tower memorial.

Mr Vincentelli said Yoko Ono’s interest in collaborative art would be much in evidence. One work, called My Mommy is Beautiful, will invite Baltic visitors to attach photographs or thoughts about their mothers to blank canvases. When these are full, they will be sent to the artist. Famous early works to be displayed on Tyneside include Play It By Trust, a marble chess set comprising only white pieces, rendering combat impossible. Another, called Morning Beams, comprises cords suspended from ceiling to ground to look like the sun’s rays.

The exhibition marks the climax of a busy autumn for Baltic, which is waiting to welcome its fourth director, Godfrey Worsdale, in November.

A series of new exhibitions is due to open next week, including one by Steve McQueen, the Turner Prize-winning British artist and film-maker whose film Hunger, about IRA hunger striker Bobby Sands, won the major Caméra d’Or award at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.

by David Whetston, The Journal

Come together for Yoko Ono in Gateshead

If you’re an embittered Beatles fan you’ll know Yoko Ono as John Lennon’s wife and the rumoured cause of The Beatle’s disbandment in 1970. But Yoko is so much more than the subject of Beatle’s songs (it’s said Come Together, Don’t Let Me Down and the more obviously titled Oh Yoko! alluded to her).

Yoko Ono was also a pioneer of conceptual art and has an international exhibition career spanning nearly 50 years. Unfortunately for Yoko, as aptly quoted by John Lennon himself, she is “the world’s most famous unknown artist: everybody knows her name, but nobody knows what she does.”

But from Saturday 13th December, what she does do will become clear as the Baltic presents an exhibition comprising Yoko’s works from 1961 to the present day. Entitled Yoko Ono: Between The Sky And My Head, Ono’s work will take up two floors of the gallery with additional works located outside.

The exhibition will be one of the largest of Yoko Ono’s works to date, and will include participatory artworks, including Wish Trees, which invites visitors to write their dreams and wishes on paper and hang them on “wish trees” outside the Baltic.

Another participatory work is My Mommy is Beautiful (note they haven’t anglicised the spelling for a British audience, pfft) for which visitors are invited to attach photos, thoughts and memories of their mothers to blank canvases.

The exhibition will run until March and whether you visit for the appreciation of conceptual art, a curiosity for the unknown woman behind the infamous name Yoko Ono, or as a bitter Beatles fan wanting to leave some vengeful wishes on a tree, it’ll be an interesting experience for all.

Photo by Jill on Flickr. From Newcastlecentric.

 

Major Yoko Ono retrospective coming to UK

  The YOKO ONO restrospective, Between The Sky And My Head, her biggest UK show for a decade, will be shown at The Baltic in Newcastle, and spans 50 years of her career.

It is one of the largest exhibition’s of Ono’s work to date and will occupy two floors of the contemporary art gallery and outside space on the banks of the River Tyne.
It includes work from Ono’s 1966 Indica Gallery display in London, where she first met John Lennon.
The exhibition will cover more than 1400m² of gallery space containing sculpture, paintings, drawing, photography, films and sound installations, as well as participation works.                                                           

Visitors will be invited to write wishes on paper to hang on Wish Trees which will be sent to the Imagine Peace tower in Videy Island, Iceland to join other wishes from around the world.

One work, called My Mummy is Beautiful, will invite Baltic visitors to attach photographs or thoughts about their mothers to blank canvases. When these are full, they will be sent to the artist.

yokochess77Famous early works to be displayed on Tyneside include Play It By Trust, a marble chess set comprising only white pieces, rendering combat impossible.

Another, called Morning Beams, comprises cords suspended from ceiling to ground to look like the sun’s rays.

Yoko Ono collection to go on display

yoko-ono-exhibition_801095c  yoko-ono-exhibition_801092c yoko-ono-exhibition_801091c  yoko-ono-exhibition_801090c
The restrospective, Between The Sky And My Head, will be shown at The Baltic in Newcastle, and spans 50 years of her career.
It is one of the largest exhibition’s of Ono’s work to date and will occupy two floors of the contemporary art gallery and outside space on the banks of the River Tyne.

It includes work from Ono’s 1966 Indica Gallery display in London, where she first met Lennon.

They began an affair approximately two years later, eventually resulting in Lennon divorcing his first wife, Cynthia Lennon.

Lennon referred to Ono in many of his songs. While still a Beatle he wrote “The Ballad of John and Yoko.” Other Lennon songs about Ono are said to include: “Don’t Let Me Down” and “Come Together.”

They married in 1969 in Gibraltar and had one son, Sean, in 1975. Lennon was killed in December 1980.

The exhibition will cover more than 1400m² of gallery space containing sculpture, paintings, drawing, photography, films and sound installations, as well as participation works.

Visitors will be invited to write wishes on paper to hang on Wish Trees which will be sent to the Imagine Peace tower in Videy Island, Iceland to join other wishes from around the world.

The exhibiton runs from December 13 to March 15 next year.

By Sarah Knapton, Telegraph.co.uk

 

Yoko Ono: Between The Sky And My Head

Yoko Ono: Between The Sky And My Head

BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art
Gateshead Quays, South Shore Road, Gateshead NE8 3BA, UK [map]
14 Dec 08 – 15 Mar 2009
Open Daily 10.00-18.00 except Tuesdays 10.30-18.00

Tel: +44 (0) 191 478 1810
Fax: +44 (0) 191 478 1922
Email: info@balticmill.com
Facebook Event.

The show is currently on here at the Kunsthall, Bielefeld.

External Projects

In a groundbreaking first for the North East, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art is working with internationally renowned artist and musician Yoko Ono to present a number of external projects for the region. Yoko Ono is one of the pioneers of conceptual art and has an international exhibition career spanning nearly 50 years.
The external projects will form part of the 2008 Newcastle Gateshead Winter Festival where a number of ambitious works by Yoko Ono will be located in prominent locations around the two cities.

Onochord SmileONOCHORD & SMILE: Onochord, a work where Ono uses light to form a code spelling out “I Love You” or “•, ••, •••” will be presented as a large projection of light from the Castle keep, Newcastle (13 December – 4 January). Alongside this, Yoko Ono’s Film No. 5 (Smile), made in 1968, will be projected onto existing buildings within the two cities. The film, shot with a high-speed camera, records a single smile of John Lennon that evolves over the course of fifty-one minutes. More here.

 

 

WishesWISH TREES: As part of Enchanted Parks in Saltwell Park, Gateshead, (4 – 14 December 2008) Ono will present Wish Trees for Gateshead – where visitors are invited to express their hopes and dreams by writing wishes on paper and hanging them on one of the trees. Wishes from Wish Trees for Gateshead will be gathered at the end of the exhibition and sent to the IMAGINE PEACE TOWER in Videy Island, off the coast of Reykjavik in Iceland, to join other wishes from hundreds of thousands of people from around the world. More here.


NewcastleGateshead Winter Festival
Enchanted Parks   

Thursday 4 - Sunday 14 December
Following the success and popularity of last year’s Enchanted Parks events, this December Gateshead’s Saltwell Park will be brought to life with atmospheric installations, light, sound and performance. Specially-commissioned art works celebrating stories and themes of wintertime will provide a memorable and seasonal walk in the park.
Be the first to hear about this year’s Enchanted Parks events – register your interest now.

YOKO ONO: BETWEEN THE SKY AND MY HEAD
Outdoor Artworks Throughout December

In a groundbreaking first for the North East, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art is working with internationally renowned artist and musician Yoko Ono to present a number of external projects for the region. Yoko Ono is one of the pioneers of conceptual art and has an international exhibition career spanning nearly 50 years.
The outdoor artworks form part of the 2008 NewcastleGateshead Winter Festival where a number of ambitious works by Yoko Ono will be located in prominent locations around NewcastleGateshead. ONOCHORD, a work where Ono uses light to form a code spelling out “I Love You” or “•, ••, •••” will be presented as a large projection of light from a prominent building in Newcastle. Alongside this, Yoko Ono’s Film No. 5 (Smile), made in 1968, will be projected onto existing buildings in NewcastleGateshead across three evenings. The film, shot with a high-speed camera, records a single smile of John Lennon that evolves over the course of fifty-one minutes. As part of Enchanted Parks in Saltwell Park, Gateshead, (Thurs 4 – Sun 14 Dec) Ono will present Wish Trees for Gateshead – where visitors are invited to express their hopes and dreams by writing wishes on paper and hanging them on one of the trees.

The outdoor artworks form part of the major retrospective YOKO ONO – BETWEEN THE SKY AND MY HEAD at BALTIC from Sun 14 Dec 08 until Sun 15 Mar 09.

For more information on the exhibition, outdoor artworks and events visit 
www.balticmill.com/yokoono 
and 
http://www.newcastlegateshead.com/2742/Yoko_Ono.html

YOKO ONO   BETWEEN THE SKY AND MY HEAD
14 December 2008 – 15 March 2009
Level 3 & 4 / BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art

This winter BALTIC presents a major exhibition of internationally acclaimed artist Yoko Ono, comprising works from the 1950s to the present day. Yoko Ono is one of the pioneers of conceptual art whose work spans music, performance, writing, painting, installation and sculpture. Occupying Level 3 and 4 of BALTIC, it is one of the largest exhibitions of her work to date and addresses Ono’s wider cosmic, poetic and political concerns.

Among the works in the exhibition are: Amaze, a large acrylic labyrinth which people can walk through; Play it By Trust, a conceptual all white marble chess set, with pieces a metre high and My Mommy Is Beautiful, in which visitors are invited to put photographs and other thoughts of their mother onto bare canvas. Visitors to BALTIC will also be able to participate in a realisation of a 1962 instruction piece which invites people to “Ride a coffin car all over the city” *. A large-scale banner of Ono’s IMAGINE PEACE artwork will be seen on the North facing exterior wall of BALTIC.

Many of Ono’s pieces exist first and foremost in the mind and in the realm of the imagination. The exhibition sometimes invites participation and involvement from the viewer, and if we choose it, a greater understanding of ourselves and our role to better determine our surroundings.

YOKO ONO BETWEEN THE SKY AND MY HEAD has been developed in partnership with Kunsthalle Bielefeld, Germany. The exhibition is curated by Thomas Kellein and Jon Hendricks.

YOKO ONO ARTIST TALK
Sunday 14 December / 17.00 SOLD OUT
                

Yoko Ono will talk about her life, work and the exhibition YOKO ONO   BETWEEN THE SKY AND MY HEAD.

ONOCHORD: PUBLIC EVENT
Sunday 14 December / 18.00 / FREE
                

Join Yoko Ono for a participatory event on Baltic Square. Ono will lead ONOCHORD. This will involve participants sending and receiving “I Love You” messages from Gateshead to Castle Keep, Newcastle.

COFFIN CAR
Wednesday, Fridays & Saturdays
17 December 2008 – 14 March 2009
                

Visitors to BETWEEN THE SKY AND MY HEAD at BALTIC will be able to participate in a realisation of a 1962 instruction piece which invites people to “Ride a coffin car all over the city”, throughout the duration of the exhibition.

Coffin Car (a classic English Daimler hearse) will be located adjacent to BALTIC on South Shore Road and will take visitors for journeys throughout Gateshead and Newcastle. Coffin Car will be available on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays between 11.00-16.00 from Wednesday 17 December. Ask at Information Desk at BALTIC to book a place on the day of your visit. Reservations can also be made in advance by calling 0191 478 1810.

Terms and conditions: A maximum of 2 visitors can travel in Coffin Car at anyone time. Individual visitors wishing to participate in Coffin Car will be doubled up when necessary at peak times. Participants must be aged 18 or over, and if under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian aged 18 or over. Coffin Car will not be available on Wednesday 24 December or Friday 26 December 2008.

YOKO ONO   BETWEEN THE SKY AND MY HEAD
OUTDOOR WORKS
               

As well as the major works at BALTIC, a number of ambitious outdoor artworks are realised across Gateshead and Newcastle and form part of the 2008 NewcastleGateshead Winter Festival.


WISH TREES
Saltwell Park, Gateshead 4 – 14 December 2008

Wish Trees for Gateshead is located in Saltwell Park, Gateshead and invites visitors to express their hopes and dreams by writing wishes on paper and hanging them on the tree. Additional Wish Trees will be located at BALTIC throughout the exhibition. Wishes from all of the trees will be gathered at the end of the exhibition, and sent to the IMAGINE PEACE TOWER in Videy Island, Iceland, to join the rest of the wishes from around the world.


FILM NO 5 (SMILE)
Gateshead Quays – Saturday 13 December 2008 / 17.30-21.00
Civic Centre, Newcastle – Thursday 18 December 2008 / 16.00-20.30

Film No 5 (Smile), 1968 will be projected onto existing buildings in Newcastle and Gateshead. The film, shot with a high speed camera, records a single smile of John Lennon that evolves over the course of fifty-one minutes. Film No 5 (Smile) can be seen on the concrete retaining wall between BALTIC and The Sage Gateshead on Gateshead Quays on Saturday 13 December, and at Civic Centre, Newcastle on Thursday 18 December.


ONOCHORD

Participatory Event: Baltic Square – Sunday 14 December 2008
ONOCHORD light projection – 14 – 31 December 2008

A special, public participatory event with Yoko Ono will take place on Sunday 14 December at 18.00 outside BALTIC on Baltic Square, Gateshead. ONOCHORD is a work where Ono uses light to form a code spelling out “I Love You” or “., .., …” and will invite BALTIC visitors and participants to send and receive these messages from Gateshead to Castle Keep, Newcastle.

For those not able to attend the event with Yoko Ono they can still see the ONOCHORD light transmitting from the Castle Keep between Sunday 14 December and 31 December from 15.30 to 20.00 each night.

YOKO ONO   BETWEEN THE SKY AND MY HEAD outdoor artworks form part of NewcastleGateshead’s world-class programme of festivals and events developed by culture10.                

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