Art Works on Viðey Island
Lettered in stone
On West Island, there are three stones embedded in the earth, with inscriptions. The origins and purpose of these remain unknown.
For the Reykjavík Arts Festival of 1990, a work of art by US sculptor Richard Serra was created on the West Island. The work comprises nine pairs of pillars of columnar basalt, which “frame” certain landmarks and destinations. Serra, one of the most influential sculptors of the post-war era, made a gift of Áfangar (Milestones) to the Icelandic people
Each pair of pillars is placed that one stands nine metres above sea level and the other at ten metres. The pillar which stands lower is four metres high, and the other is three metres tall, so the tops of the pillars are level. The distance between each pair of pillars is defined by the varying gradient of the ground where they stand.
Imagine Peace Tower
The Imagine Peace Tower is a work of art conceived by the legendary artist, musician and peace advocate Yoko Ono as a beacon to world peace. The work is in the form of a wishing well from which a strong and tall tower of light emerges. The words ‘Imagine Peace’ are inscribed on the well in 24 world languages.
The light tower is composed of a number of individual lights that join together to form a single beam. Six of the lights travel through corridors across a platform that surrounds the well and are reflected upwards to the sky with mirrors. The strength, intensity and brilliance of the light tower continually changes as the particles in the air fluctuate with the prevailing weather and atmospheric conditions unique to Iceland.
“I hope the Imagine Peace Tower will give light to the strong wishes of World Peace from all corners of the planet and give encouragement, inspiration and a sense of solidarity in a world now filled with fear and confusion. Let us come together to realize a peaceful world.”
“Imagine all the people living life in peace” – John Lennon
This idea for the Imagine Peace Tower comes from a conceptual artwork by Yoko Ono, entitled ‘Light House’.
“The Light House is a phantom house that is built by sheer light. You set up prisms at a certain time of day, under a certain evening light which goes through the prisms, the Light House appears in the middle of the field like an image, except that, with this image, you can actually go inside if you want to. The Light House may not emerge every day, just as the sun doesn’t shine every day.” y.o. 1965
For decades Yoko Ono has gathered the wishes and dreams of people all over the world. These wishes are kept in time-capsules.
The Imagine Peace Tower is surrounded by more than half a million Peace Wishes from people worldwide that the artist has collected since 1981 as part of her interactive Wish Tree exhibits. The wishes are stored in capsules and buried surrounding the Imagine Peace Tower.
Yoko Ono invites you to join her and hundreds of thousands of others by sending your wishes to the Imagine Peace Tower, Po Box 1009, 121 Reykjavik, Iceland.
Statue of the Virgin Mary
In 2000, a thousand years after the Christian religion was adopted in Iceland, a statue of the Virgin Mary was erected on Kvennagönguhólar to mark the millennium, and as a monument to Viðey’s long connection with Catholicism, especially the medieval Viðey monastery, which was dedicated to the Virgin Mary.