A thousand wishes...

...to London's South Bank, where I rendezvous with my three (allegedly) grown up children to see 'Dune II' at the iMax. Before the film there was time to enjoy lunch and then take a wander through the cacophony of activity that heaves and scurries around the Royal Festival Hall on a weekend afternoon. Multi-lingual, multi-ethnic, multi faceted, the piazzas beside the Thames are back to their best and busiest, a feast for the senses.

The Tate Modern is but a short stroll down river and I love the contrasting cityscapes en route as restored wharehouses nestle between steel and concrete while the neoclassical splendour of the north bank provides a contrasting vista across the water. Bankside Power Station, when it appears, is an immense late Victorian monument to industrialism; I was entirely unsurprised when I discovered that its designer was Giles Gilbert Scott, whose imagination also lay behind Liverpool's Anglican Cathedral. The similarity is, with the benefit of hindsight, unmissable.

OK, I admit that the visit to the Tate was partly driven by a desire for a coffee, but the Art is there too(!), in particular Yoko Ono's ' Music of the Mind' Exhibition. But my attention was caught early by one of Ono's pieces on the way in to the Blavatnik Building - 'Wish Trees' is an installation consisting of a number of Olive saplings in pots. Visitors are invited to enter their heartfelt wishes on luggage tags and hang them on the branches, and by the time that I saw it the trees had become white with their embellishments. For four weeks and more tourists and travellers had been adding their handwritten labels to those twiggy plants, with the wishes written in many styles and languages, some in verse, one word or many. The sheer number, the weight of wishes was an amazing sight, but what really got me were the words. There were, of course, plenty of echoes of current instability and crisis across the Globe, and there were also occasional outbreaks of flippancy too, but the vast majority of the luggage tags had pleas for health and a kind hand of fate. "May the future be kind for my boyfriend and enable him to achieve everything to which he aspires", "May my Gran get better", "I wish that Mum's surgery date is set soon", "May my son get a good job". I could hear those individual voices whispering to me as I gingerly lifted each tag. In the same way as brilliant journalism cuts through big events to tell real stories, so the wishes brought to life a thousand voices - searching for peace, love, resolution, closure, hope and optimism.

'Wish Tree' is a long lived artistic entity. Yoko Ono first started the installation in 1996 and in the nearly three decades since then tens of thousands of individual wishes have been added to each set of native trees in each of more than 10 countries. The inspiration for the piece was spiritual (she says), as she remembered wish knots on trees in Japanese temple courtyards as a child. I sensed that spirituality being recreated amidst the crowds of tourists,in the otherwise umpromising environment of an old turbine hall on the South Bank.