Imagine! Yoko – 08 Ambassador
Yoko Ono has given her support to Liverpool’s European Capital of Culture celebrations by signing up to be an official 08 Ambassador.
On what would have been John Lennon’s 66th birthday, the New York based artist opened her heart, expressing her love for the city and how it had shaped the man she loved.
She said: ”I am so proud to support the Liverpool 08 Ambassador Programme! I fell in love with Liverpool the first time I went there in 1967 as an artist. When I arrived in Liverpool, the first thing that caught my eyes was the beautiful, old elegance of the city by the water.
”The professors at the Art School were young, alert, and all very hip to my stuff. When I performed at the Bluecoat Society, the place was filled with students who welcomed me warmly…a barely five ft. asian artist who could have come from Mars for all they knew! It was an experience I would never forget.”
The Japanese-born mother-of-two is a frequent visitor to the city, recently donating Lennon’s Childhood home to the National Trust and participated in the 2004 Liverpool Biennial festival of contemporary visual art.
She added: ”After John’s passing, the people of Liverpool have been very kind to me. Now, I feel like I am an adopted Liverpudlian. When I’m in the far corner of the world having a hard time for one reason or another, I think of Liverpool, and it calms my heart.
”It is the city that shaped the man I love: John Lennon, his poetry, his sense of humour, and his Northern resilience to hard life. I am also from an old city by the water called Tokyo, which gave me a sense of poetry, humour and Asian resilience to life’s hard blows. We met, and we fell in love. And I know, that part of John’s heart was always with Liverpool, his hometown. He was a proud Liverpudlian, and when I prayed that Liverpool would be chosen for 2008, I knew that John was with me all the way.”
Yoko joins a long list of high profile 08 Ambassadors from the world of politics, entertainment and sport such as Liverpool FC ace Steven Gerrard, Ken Dodd and Cherie Booth, QC.
Yoko’s support also comes just a month before the city prepares to make the first highlights announcement for the 2008 programme (on Monday 6 November).
In her 08 Ambassador form, Yoko ended with the line: ”Liverpool, Liverpool, stay magical and beautiful. Your future is whatever you wish to make. I love you!”