April 2021 Free

Yoko Ono’s contribution to Back to Earth brings this simple declaration of love for our planet, our home, our sustenance and our mother to billboards across the UK.

Serpentine has partnered with ClearChannel to display I LOVE YOU EARTH on billboards across a number of notable sites around the country for two weeks in April, coinciding with the internationally-recognised Earth Day and the gradual re-emergence of the public after the latest pandemic restrictions.

Originally conceived as a song on her 1985 album Starpeace and later made into a standalone text piece and public artwork, I LOVE YOU EARTH has never been shown in the UK. It acts as a gentle provocation, setting up an active relationship between artist and viewer. I LOVE YOU EARTH is 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? Visitors to this page, Serpentine’s media channels, and above all those who encounter the billboards, are encouraged to pause for a moment and reflect on their own feelings of responsibility to the ground beneath their feet, their home, garden, neighbourhood, region or even the planet.

Ono’s practice of using simple statements, questions or instructions as a way of shifting perceptions, often profoundly, can be traced back to the late 1950s and early 1960s, when she moved from prompting her audiences to interact with physical works to presenting instructions as the works themselves. Her seminal book Grapefruit (1964) comprises a collection of these enquiries, several of which draw the reader’s attention to the earth, the sky, the wind, and other non-human forces. The instructions that she gives widen the practice of making art, acknowledging the interplay of control and chance involved with any act of creation.

I LOVE YOU EARTH is a part of Serpentine’s long-term, multi-year project Back to Earth, which invites over sixty leading artists, architects, poets, filmmakers, scientists, thinkers and designers, to respond to the environmental crisis, with the support of partner organisations and networks, running throughout the Galleries’ programmes onsite, offsite and online.

List of Locations

Mancunian Tower, Manchester

Liverpool Towers, Liverpool

Argyle Street, Glasgow

Chiswick Towers, London

Park Royal, London

Lambeth Palace Road, London

Hammersmith Tower, London

Billingsgate Towers, London

A40 Power Station, London

North London Towers, London

A black and white picture of Yoko Ono
Photo by Matthew Placek ©Yoko Ono



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