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Me and Yoko Ono. 2016, 2008, 1962. (Lyon, Newcastle, New York)

Here is a true story of extraordinary coincidence.

Recently, I have been on holiday to visit a friend in Lyon. This story could possibly include a date in the mid 90s when Gaëlle and I met in Nebraska. She was a French foreign exchange student in my small Nebraska town. I remember her as being kind, intelligent and beautiful, all of which are true today.

I chose to visit Lyon so I could reunite with my friend and meet her family.

On one day, we went to a modern art gallery to see the Yoko Ono exhibition. This exhibition took three floors and it was magnificent. Many of the works invited you to interact. Some pieces were made from audience participation years ago and this is when I stumbled upon an amazing coincidence. 

The above image stretched across a broad white wall, displaying 60-70 small typed cards. These were ideas from participants in an exhibition held in New York in the early 60s. I didn’t read all of the cards, as there was so much to see and we were slightly pressed for time. I read the first five or so, walked down the line, then read this one:

It was a massive surprise and I’ll explain why.

In 2008, whilst living in Newcastle, England, I visited a Yoko Ono exhibition. She was there, presenting her work, diminutive and larger than life. She shone a torch/flashlight into our faces and said some things. Part of the exhibition was to ride around the city in a Daimler hearse and so a friend and I did just that. At the time I thought it was just part of a series of events and exhibits created for the Baltic in Newcastle.

You can imagine the surprise I had, me living in Edinburgh, visiting my friend from high school in Lyon, discovering that an exhibition in which I participated in Newcastle, was the idea of another person participating in an exhibition in New York with an idea in 1962 for someone to ride around a city in a coffin car. My mind is still reeling.


I am an artist living and working in a rather gorgeous city. My art can be purchased in various shops throughout the city as well as from my online shop. Most of my work is for commission, private and corporate. I am the founder of Crash Course in Art History Limited.

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