John Lennon’s widow Yoko Ono made a flying visit to a British city today to see how her artwork concept involving ladders had grown after contributions from the public.
The Liverpool Skyladders is a collection of ladders positioned in the ruins of St Luke’s Church in Liverpool city centre, commissioned for a festival of contemporary art.
Around 25 ladders, including single step and nine-foot tall wood and aluminium frames, have been collected from the public since September for the work which is part of the MADE UP exhibition of international artwork commissioned for the Liverpool Biennial 2008.
Ono, who is 75 and donated her own set of ladders to the work today, said: “Originally it was a piece I dedicated to John a long time ago in the 60s and he loved it. It was very avant-garde at the time.
“It grew into something new.
“After John’s passing I felt a strong kind of togetherness with people who went through the horror of it all (John Lennon’s death). I wanted the work to be dedicated to people as well.
“The ladder takes you a bit closer to the sky.”
Speaking about the collection, which is expected to grow until the end of the festival on November 30, Ono said: “It’s just beautiful. I’m very happy that people understand it.
“It’s a very humble work. Each ladder isn’t anything special, it’s just special because it was brought by a person.
“Some of the ladders are very small. I like that idea of the modesty of the piece.”
Each ladder has a card written by the person that donated the steps.
When the Liverpool Biennial 2008 festival of contemporary visual art finishes on November 30, the work will be donated to charity or a public collection.
It is the fifth Liverpool Biennial since it was set up in 1998.
It is the UK’s largest and most widely reviewed festival of contemporary visual art, according to organisers Liverpool Biennial.
Lewis Biggs, Director of Liverpool Biennial, said: “I have been really pleased with the fact that all the step ladders are so individual.
“There are three or four brand new ones. There are some covered in paint or bent or some from the 1950s. With the personal notes it is like the church is filling up with people rather than ladders.
“It’s a brilliant work for engaging people.
“I think she (Yoko Ono) is a really clever artist.”
“We would like it to go to a public collection. That might or might not be a charity and we have started talking to various collections but we have not go to the point where we know which one might be the lucky recipient,” he added.