Exhibition says oh yes to Ono’s work

James Clegg  pictured with Yoko Ono's artwork
James Clegg pictured with Yoko Ono's artwork
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IT may not look like much more than a postcard with a hole in the middle.

But the work by John Lennon’s widow Yoko Ono is one of 50 pieces of artwork selected for a special exhibition depicting beauty.

Beholder is a collection that is being brought together under one roof at the Talbot Rice Gallery at Edinburgh University until February and features unique interpretations on what is considered beautiful.

The idea came from the gallery’s principal curator Pat Fisher, who wanted to do something to mark the 300th anniversary of the birth of philosopher David Hume, who had very specific ideas about the perception of beauty.

Ms Fisher wrote to colleagues in galleries across Scotland inviting them to suggest their own ideas for pieces that would fit the bill, with the result being a vast range of items from across the world, including Ono’s A Hole To See The Sky Through, which was selected by Kate Gray of the Collective Gallery in Edinburgh.

Ms Fisher said: “At first I thought I would be the selector for the exhibition, but it quickly came to me that I just wanted to apply a bit more lateral thought and wanted it to be much broader than just my own views of what beauty is.

“It was a critical part of the project that I would accept everything because if I had made a second selection it would have changed the ethos of the project.

“I have been delighted by many of them. Some of them wouldn’t have been to my personal taste, but there is a feeling of quiet humility in some of the choices.”

The exhibition, which opens this Saturday, also features works by Turner Prize nominees Karla Black and Nathan Coley, painter LS Lowry, abstract artist Callum Innes, modernist architect Sir Basil Spence, visual artist George Wylie and painter Giorgio Morandi.

The items span 500 years, from a piece of lace from the 16th century to an oil painting painted in the gallery last week.

Ms Fisher said: “One of the most challenging things has been how to install it.

“One of my hopes is that it appeals to a very wide spectrum of visitors.

“I would almost hope to suggest that it might offer something for everyone.”

The Yoko Ono piece was sent to the gallery with the artist’s “love and kisses” from New York and she has also publicised the Beholder exhibition on her Twitter page.

Ms Fisher added: “Yoko Ono is one of the more unusual artists in the exhibition and she sent it to us with love and kisses

“The work is giving you an invitation to think about beauty as the piece of work itself is simple.

“It encourages us to use our imagination.”