The John Lennon Peace & Harmony Memorial was unveiled on Saturday in Chavasse Park, which is usually referred to as Liverpool One these days.

Julian and Cynthia Lennon were on hand to join in on a rendition of Give Peace A Chance while they took the covers off the peace memorial, which has been designed as somewhere for Beatles fans to pay tribute to the late Lennon.

The memorial itself, being dedicated to a dead legend and a memorial to peace, is kind of fire-proofed from any criticism. But having said that it’s not exactly subtle.

Designed by American artists Lauren Voiers (why not a Liverpool artist?), it comprises a huge globe wrapped in a guitar, saxophone, keyboard and stave. Above it are a pair of hands releasing doves into the sky, one of which has a white feather in its beak.

It is, in my opinion, quite hideous; a kind of ‘throw everything at the wall’ effort that doesn’t really say anything about Lennon or peace except in the most literal way imaginable. A gaudy Wal-Mart, MacDonalds or X-Factor kind of monument.

But, there you go, art is nothing is not subjective; no doubt many will love it. And Julian and Cynthia Lennon, who always seem to conduct themselves with dignity, seemed to approve.

For his part Pete Best – one of about 20 different ‘fifth Beatles’ – reckoned Lennon would be ‘bemused’ by it.

• Thanks to Dave The Pap for the images

21 Responses to “Give Peace Memorial a Chance?”

  1. Good God that’s bad. Give me Yoko’s lady bits draped over lampposts anyday. What is it with American Beatles arists? Have you seen the crap masquerading as art, by Shannon in the Hard Day’s Night? like the sort of crap you’re press ganged into posing for in Montemarte. No soul. A fitting tribute? He’d piss over it.

  2. NotRingo

    Oh my! Maybe Liverpool should win the “Capital Of Tacky” accolade, next? This is most definitely not art.

    Liverpool didn’t need a new “Lennon memorial”…we got Beatles story, Cavern Club, Lennon statue on Mathew St, Lennon statue at airport, yellow submarine, Mendips…for fucks sake give it a rest!

    Waste of money, ordered by/design by/ made for idots…what an embarrassment!

    It won’t help “stop the war” obviously, it won’t make people think of peace or of Lennon. It’ll make people think “Oh, that’s IT? Shit…let’s go to have a look at the Liverpool One shops now, shall we”.

    What waste of money. Shame on whoever’s idea it was. Liverpool never fails to disappoint.

  3. There’s another pretty big problem with this monument that everyone seems to have overlooked. It’s in a public area frequented by gangs of young kids.

    I give it six months before bits of it start getting snapped off. And it looks like bits would snap off pretty easily.

  4. A multicoloured yawn, I think is the expression. Who commissioned this? Where there any artists involved? I half expected to see a plaque saying ‘ made by the children of class 5, Garston Primary’. It’s artless, soulless, pointess, unoriginal, high-street crap of the highest order. If the city wanted to find a better way to rubbish Lennon’s memory, I’m not sure they could. Tear it down at once.

  5. It’s funny, whenever Lennon (and his legacy or myth) comes into contact with the wider world, there is bemuement. That is because he was an outsider, different, whatever you want to call it; always was and always will be. And no matter how many people try to simplify and sanctify him (and I know Yoko and his other family are guilty too sometimes), you can’t. He was a complicated bastard and not very many people in this world are gonna capture that in art. Those who could? Haven’t got the time… ps. The monument is actually laughable. The sax reference comes from the frickin’ moon an’ all…

  6. Surely a memorial to Noel Chavasse would have been more apt – I know there’s one by Abercromby Square which is far more easy on the eye and is a far better memorial to peace then this GCSE art project gone wrong.

  7. NotRingo

    So that’s $350000 down the toilet, then.

    I’m sure the money could have been better spent elsewehere.

    Also, why didn’t they choose a Liverpool artist to do the job, anyway? At least it’d be helping some local artist. God knows people here need the money!

    Finally…locating it at Liverpool One – a new place totally unrelated to the Beatles history or to John Lennon – is very, very cynical…an attempt to attract more tourists to that area.

    Those fat cats who decide the future and the shape of Liverpool, time and time again just make me disgusted. For the sake of money they are little by little destroyig the character of this city/

  8. To be honest, I don’t really care about where the artist comes from. I mean, if Zaha Hadid was commissioned to create something, I’d not say no. It’s just that this…well, it really does look like it belongs in (and was created in) the US. There is something of the shopping mall about it. It’s the sculptural version of Muzak.

  9. While I am pleased to see a Peace Memorial erected in my home city of Liverpool to honor John Lennon and his wish for world peace, the memorial seems unfocused and rather a mess artistically. It fails to make one single statement but seems to be all over the map. A more dramatic and pertinent statement might have been made by such a local sculptor as Tom Murphy who would no doubt have designed something more fitting.

  10. @ Argybargy We can say with absolute certainty that it won’t stop the war.

    1. Take a piece of urban design/architecture that was shortlisted for the Stirling Prize
    2. Spot an open space within it
    3. Conclude that open space is worthless and not part of the design, not something that people might like
    4. Place a hideous, trite, backwards-looking statue in the open space, ruining it.

    Next they will put a big pair of Macca thumb’s up statues (like Saddam’s Swords) at the Rocket.

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