Lennon Sculpture Unveiled At Botanical Gardens

June 21, 2012

[Updated with video] This evening [June 21] the public unveiling of the Graham Foster tribute sculpture took place at the Botanical Gardens, along with the opening of the “Imagine the Art of John Lennon” art exhibit.

“The Imagine the Art of John Lennon” exhibit at the Masterworks Museum includes a selection of lithographs from Lennon’s “Bag One Portfolio” – a suite of prints published and hand-signed by John Lennon in 1970, centered around his wedding in Gibraltar to Yoko Ono and posthumous limited edition prints signed by Yoko Ono.

Tony Brannon and Premier Paula Cox with the sculpture:

The images are a cross section of “peace” themed drawings, the “Real Love” drawings he created for his son, Sean, and serigraphs created from John Lennon’s hand-written lyrics from the “Double Fantasy” album. This exhibit will be on display in the Rick Faries Gallery from June 21st – July 4th.

While in Bermuda accompanied by his four-year-old son Sean, the former Beatle — who had not released an album of original material since “Walls And Bridges in 1974 — completed more than 20 songs. Some were entirely original compositions; others he had struggled with for years while contending with a debilitating case of writer’s block.

Artist Graham Foster poses with the sculpture he created:

Before his murder, Lennon credited both his ocean crossing and the time he spent in Bermuda with revitalising his creative energies. He explained to interviewers how he and wife Yoko Ono (who had stayed in New York to “take care of business” during his Bermuda interlude) collaborated over the phone while he was on the island.

Lennon said a night out at the old Disco 40 on Front Street — his first visit to a nightclub since the mid-1970s — exposed him to then-current musical styles. The mould-breaking reggae, punk and New Wave sounds reminded him of his wife’s avante garde compositions and prompted Lennon to pick up his guitar again later the same evening.

“I was at a dance club one night in Bermuda,” Lennon told “Rolling Stone” in an interview conducted just three days before he was shot to death. “Upstairs, they were playing disco, and downstairs, I suddenly heard ‘Rock Lobster’ by the B-52′s for the first time. Do you know it? It sounds just like Yoko’s music, so I said to meself, ‘It’s time to get out the old axe and wake the wife up!’ We wrote about 25 songs during those three weeks, and we’ve recorded enough for another album.”

Lennon credited the stormy ocean crossing to Bermuda with galvanising him back into action after a protracted period as a “house-husband” in New York, raising Sean and focusing his creativity on baking bread.

In a video message John Lennon’s widow Yoko Ono said, “I am pleased that John is being honored in the Bermuda Botanical Gardens. It is where he discovered the Double Fantasy freesia flower which became the title of his last album. Know that he loved and was immensely inspired by Bermuda. His spirit is now a part of the beautiful Botanical Gardens where I hope peace and love will grow.”

The Bermuda tribute is being organized Tony Brannon, and will also include a tribute concert on September 21st — the International Day of Peace — in which Local artists will join international reggae singer Maxi Priest for an evening of music to celebrate the life of John Lennon.

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  1. Photos Of 2012 Bermuda John Lennon Tribute Concert | Bernews.com | September 22, 2012
  1. Soooooo says:

    TonyB.. Thanks for all your hard work to make this tribute to one of the worlds truly great artists a reality… A fantastic night, can’t wait for September’s concert!!!

  2. Baltic Fury says:

    This is great, we really should make more of the Lennon connection, he is the greatest songwriter of the modern age, he has tens of millions of fans, his appeal is timeless, and we have deep links. Until now we’ve done nothing though. Wake up Dept of Tourism, a Lennon Festival maybe? Perhaps something that people might actually travel to? Wouldn’t that make a welcome change, an event that could get by with a little help from lots of friends….

  3. Out of flight says:

    Tony B. well done. Masterworks and your partners deserve a gold medal.

  4. Out of flight says:

    We commend and congratulate Tony B, Graham Foster, Masterworks and all partners who made this work

  5. Tommy Chong says:

    I wonder if John were around what would he do if he knew that in BDA he could get 20 for 2. Would he still come here if he’d got treated like John Sinclair.

  6. Peace says:

    Excellent tony!,,

  7. Amazed says:

    The biggest audition to the islands tourist business this year!

  8. James s says:

    What’s all the fuss about? He came here once for a holiday. Funny how Bermudians like to claim the famous expats but don’t want the rest.

    • say it like it is says:

      Your are an a– aren’t you? I guess you’d be happier with someone like 50cent? John Lennon is a great artist, maybe you’ve never listened to his music and lyrics, maybe you should before passing judgement! A big thank you to Tony, Masterworks for this great tibute to one of the world’s greatest. Can;t wait for the concert either.

  9. TonyB says:

    Thanks to everyone who came to the SCULPTURE unveiling…..
    It was a truly wonderful evening

    The JOHN LENNON TRIBUTE CONCERT is on SEPTEMBER 21st – The International Day of Peace…..
    TICKETS available via http://www.ptix.bm

    SUMMER of LOVE EP is available at THE MUSIC BOX !

  10. street wise says:

    Here’s a guy (Tony B) who has great ideas and “gets things done.” And what does the PLP do? They kick him off the Tourism Board before he has had a chance to get started. Only in Bermuda.

    The DoT and its Board is still WAY too political… I’m not expecting much from that lot.

    BTW, great idea, great work, Tony! And all involved.

    • Truth is killin' me... says:

      “Anything less would be uncivilized!”

  11. Could someone tell me why Tony has not been approached and begged to become a minister of tourism. let me guess, could it be that he cares and has some knowledge and actually loves his country.

  12. Mussel Pie says:

    Well done Tony B., Graham Foster and Masterworks.

    I hope that the Department of Tourism is doing something to promote the September tribute concert to bring in overseas visitors. Or will they drop the ball on that too? Like they did the Diamond Jubilee.

    I’ll say it in advance. Bunch of turkeys.

  13. pleased onion says:

    Congrats to all involved in this Lennon tribute!

    And for the nay-sayers, i.e. James s, in case you did not know, Masterworks gives recognition to artists that produced works in Bermuda & it is only fitting that John Lennon & Yoko Ono be recognized too!

  14. TonyB says:

    Minister of Tourism Wayne Fubert has been very supportive of the John Lennon Tribute. The Premier unveiled the sculpture. So I can say that I am very pleased with the support so far. STAY TUNED for more !!!

  15. united says:

    The Rolling Stones were way better than the Beatles. My opinion and I am entitled to that opinion, thank you very much.