by Anna Dreyer
Amongst the dusty streets and festival sounds a small sanctuary beckons Woodford Folk Festival goers for a moment of peace.
Featuring a large bed, crisp white sheets and rainbow cushions, the Embedding Peace installation pays homage to John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s ground breaking Montreal Bed-in for peace in 1969.
Right near the festival’s Dance Hall in the midst of the hubbub, festival-goers can take a photo of themselves in the life size replica of the Montreal bed just like John and Yoko did 50 years ago.
One of the key messages of the installation is that with the power of the internet, it’s easier than ever to spread your own message of peace.
The installation carries on the legacy of one of the most controversial rock and pop commentators at the time, Brisbane born writer Richie Yorke, who worked with John and Yoko during the bed-in. Richie Yorke was a good friend of festival director Bill Hauritz and today Richie’s work is posthumously continued by his wife Minnie.
In 2017 festival artists Robbie Miller, Digging Roots and Disappear Fear all spent time in the bed and made their own videos to share online.
This year, more artists are expected to visit the space, with something special planned for the festival’s renowned fire event.
Minnie hopes the message is one that will appeal to a new generation of peace activists.
“It’s purely about sharing this energy and educating the young ones,” Minnie says. “It’s the energy of community and sharing and the energy of love.”
Returning for a second time to the festival, Embedding Peace has complimentary white pyjamas on hand for participants to use for their own bed-in, with Minnie snapping a photo using your phone so that you can share your message of peace.
In April of 2019, Minnie will exhibit some of her husband’s memorabilia with Yoko Ono for the 50th anniversary exhibition of the bed-in being staged in Montreal, Canada.
“It’s the people who have the power. Give peace a chance,” she says.