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.

Áfangar (Milestones)

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.”
–Yoko Ono

“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.