Highly-revered multimedia artist and activist Yoko Ono is launching a public artwork project on billboards in Manchester city centre.
To mark Earth Day 2021 – which takes place today (22nd April) – the 88-year-old’s iconic message, ‘I love you Earth’, will tower out on billboards over the Mancunian Way, as well as several other prominent locations in Glasgow, Liverpool and London.
‘I love you Earth’ was a song on Ono’s 1985 album titled Starpeace.
Organisers said the art project is to serve as a “reminder to those who see it to ask themselves, ‘Do I love the Earth? How am I expressing that love? Could I do more?’”.
The billboards – which have been installed with London-based art gallery Serpentine Galleries and are part of a Serpentine project with more than 60 artists, architects, poets, filmmakers, scientists, thinkers and designers responding to the environmental crisis – are to celebrate Earth Day.
Earth Day is annually marked across the globe and seeks to promote and encourage discussions and action surrounding climate change, equality and environmental justice.
Yoko Ono, whose late husband was The Beatles’ John Lennon, said: “There are so many of us in the world who are now awakened, ready to act to save our world, so, let’s work together to save this planet.
“Together. That’s how we will change the world. We change, and the world changes.
“Have trust in what you can do. Have trust in how fast we can change our world for the better. Why? Because we have to. Believe that we are one and together we will make it. Love is what connects all lives on Earth”.
Serpentine’s Artistic Director, Hans Ulrich Obrist, and Chief Executive, Bettina Korek, said: “As communities across the UK return to public places in our cities, they will be welcomed by Yoko Ono’s powerful positive statement for the planet, I Love You Earth…
“Planned before this global health crisis hit, Back to Earth could not be more urgent now as we work with artists to understand and address our relationship with the Earth and everything in it”.
The ‘I love you Earth’ project is the first work from Yoko Ono in Manchester since Manchester International Festival’s (MIF) moving curtain-raiser ‘Bells for Peace’, which assembled communities from across the city in 2019.
Featured Image – Jan Koblanski