Yoko Ono has long been thought of as a divisive figure, the butt of countless jokes about breaking up the greatest band of all time.

The irony, of course, is that all she has ever tried to preach through her art and her music is unity and love.

Last year, one of the most refreshing and enjoyable of London's summer of excellent art shows belonged to former wife of John Lennon, whose exhibition 'To The Light' gain positive reviews, not least of all on this site where it was given four stars out of five.

Today, on her 80th birthday, we look back on photographs from her remarkable life so far and round up some of the best things she's ever said about art, life and love.

Happy birthday Yoko!

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  • Yoko Ono And John Lennon

  • Yoko Ono with Cynthia Lennon and their sons John and Sean

  • John Lennon and Yoko Ono

  • <blockquote>Controversy is part of the nature of art and creativity. </blockquote>

  • John Lennon and Yoko Ono

  • John Lennon and Yoko Ono

  • John Lennon and Yoko Ono

  • <blockquote>A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality.</blockquote>

  • John Lennon and Yoko Ono

  • John Lennon and Yoko Ono

  • John Lennon and Yoko Ono

  • <blockquote>Smile in the mirror. Do that every morning and you'll start to see a big difference in your life. </blockquote>

  • Yoko Ono has been tireless preserving the memory of her slain husband John Lennon

  • John Lennon and Yoko Ono

  • John Lennon and Yoko Ono

  • <blockquote>I thought art was a verb, rather than a noun. </blockquote>

  • John Lennon and Yoko Ono

  • John Lennon and Yoko Ono

  • John Lennon and Yoko Ono

  • <blockquote>Artists are going to be the metronome of this society.</blockquote>

  • John Lennon and Yoko Ono

  • John Lennon and Yoko Ono

  • John Lennon and Yoko Ono

  • <blockquote>No one person could have broken up a band, especially one the size of the Beatles.</blockquote>

  • John Lennon and Yoko Ono

  • John Lennon and Yoko Ono

  • John Lennon and Yoko Ono

  • <blockquote>Remember, each one of us has the power to change the world. Just start thinking peace, and the message will spread quicker than you think. </blockquote>

  • John Lennon and Yoko Ono

  • John Lennon and Yoko Ono

  • John Lennon and Yoko Ono

  • <blockquote>I saw that nothing was permanent. You don't want to possess anything that is dear to you because you might lose it. </blockquote>

  • John Lennon and Yoko Ono

  • John Lennon and Yoko Ono

  • John Lennon and Yoko Ono

  • <blockquote>I realized that if my thoughts immediately affect my body, I should be careful about what I think. Now if I get angry, I ask myself why I feel that way. If I can find the source of my anger, I can turn that negative energy into something positive.</blockquote>

  • John Lennon and Yoko Ono

  • John Lennon and Yoko Ono

  • John Lennon and Yoko Ono

  • <blockquote>Experiencing sadness and anger can make you feel more creative, and by being creative, you can get beyond your pain or negativity.</blockquote>

  • John Lennon and Yoko Ono

  • John Lennon and Yoko Ono

  • John Lennon and Yoko Ono

  • <blockquote>I just go with the flow, so any style can be in my music - that makes it exciting.</blockquote>

  • John Lennon and Yoko Ono - Bed-In for peace

  • John Lennon and Yoko Ono

  • John Lennon and Yoko Ono - Bed-In for peace

  • <blockquote>At least I had that, one guy understood me.</blockquote>

  • John Lennon and Yoko Ono

  • John Lennon and Yoko Ono - Bed-In for peace

  • John Lennon and Yoko Ono