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Bluecoat celebrates Yoko Ono links for Heritage Open Days

Liverpool Bluecoat’s long association with Yoko Ono will be celebrated and explored in a special event for this year’s Heritage Open Days.

Bluecoat director of cultural legacies Brian Biggs will give a free talk - Yoko Ono Unwrapped - about the experimental multimedia artist at the School Lane site on Friday, September 8.

Ono first visited the Bluecoat on September 26, 1967, while still little known in the UK, presenting a Fluxus event to a packed concert hall. Music of the Mind was accompanied by the world premiere of her performance piece The Fog Machine in which audience participation included inviting people to wrap her in bandages.

In April 2008, when she returned to the newly-renovated venue during Capital of Culture year, she asked people to ‘unwrap’ her instead, with her performance beamed on to the big screen in Clayton Square.

She also installed a ‘Wish Tree’ in the Bluecoat Courtyard where the public were invited to hang messages on its branches.

Above and top: Yoko Ono at the Bluecoat in 1967. Photos by Sheridan Davies.

Biggs says: “The events by Yoko Ono are key moments in the Bluecoat's history, and an important part of our cultural legacy. We’re delighted to be able to take the opportunity of Heritage Open Days to revisit them, and bring them to the attention of people who may not have been able to visit at the time."

The annual England-wide Heritage Open Days event, which takes place each September, is the country's largest festival of heritage and culture and gives people the chance to explore hidden places or try out new experiences.

This year’s dates are September 8-17. More details are available HERE.

The Bluecoat’s venue’s theme for 2023 is Unwrapping Creativity, and a range of activities and events planned for September 8-9 also includes heritage tours of the 300-year-old, Grade I listed city centre building, studio tours and ‘drop ins’ and etching demonstrations.

Yoko Ono Unwrapped is on September 8 at 7pm. Free but booking required. More details HERE


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