Strawberry Field unveils new ‘Imagine’ mosaic

In a tribute to late Beatle John Lennon, Liverpool visitor attraction Strawberry Field unveils new ‘Imagine’ mosaic. Tony McDonough reports

Strawberry Field
Salvation Army Majors Allister Versfeld and Kathy Versfeld with the Imagine mosaic at Strawberry Field


Liverpool visitor attraction Strawberry Field has unveiled a new mosaic that will feature in a soon-to-be-opened bandstand.

As a tribute to the late Beatle John Lennon, the circular mosaic is inspired by the ‘Imagine’ mosaic in Central Park’s Strawberry Fields in New York.

It measures 6.4 metres in diameter – larger than the US version – and covers the entire floor of the Strawberry Field bandstand. It is made up of 390,000 tiles.

The mosaic in New York is influenced by ancient Greco-Roman designs, is made out of black and white marble by Italian craftsmen and was donated to the city by the Mayor of Naples, Italy in 1984.

US-based company, Mozaico Art, which specialises in Italian-style mosaics, was commissioned by Orange Amplification on behalf of Strawberry Field to create the Liverpool installation.

It was made from selected marble and pieced together by four expert artists. They took more 15 weeks to make with each piece being laid onto the resin backing by hand. Liverpool-based father and son tiling company, Eye of the Tiler, then pieced together and installed the mosaic on the floor of the bandstand.

Salvation Army Major Kathleen Versfeld, mission director at Strawberry Field, said: “The bandstand mosaic is a culmination of hard work and dedication by so many creative people from across the globe.

“In response to John’s death in 1980, a 2.5 acre landscape garden in the shape of a teardrop was built in Central Park in New York. The gardens were opened by Yoko Ono in John’s memory and named Strawberry Fields.”

The Strawberry Field bandstand and mosaic have been donated by Strawberry Field honorary patron Cliff Cooper.

Cliff is the chief executive of Orange Amplification, and will sit in the original Strawberry Field garden in Liverpool as an enduring message of peace and hope, a new addition to the attraction.

Strawberry Field in south Liverpool was acquired by The Salvation Army in 1934. The organisation opened the site as a children’s home in 1936. For almost 70 years it supported some of Liverpool’s most vulnerable children until it closed in 2005.

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A young John Lennon lived nearby and played in the grounds. They inspired him to write the song Strawberry Fields Forever.

The new bandstand is based upon the drum featured on The Beatles’ iconic album cover, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, but with close associations to The Salvation Army and its famous marching bands.

Featuring advanced computer lighting and sound technology, visitors will enjoy musical and theatrical performances from the bandstand via wireless headphones as they roam the famous grounds. The bandstand will also feature artwork by renowned pop artist, James Wilkinson.

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