The Imagine Peace Tower in Viðey, Iceland

The Imagine Peace Tower in Iceland

The Imagine Peace Tower is a light installation in Iceland designed by Yoko Ono in memory of her husband, John Lennon, and their continued campaign for world peace. The light projector comprises six light tunnels surrounded by slanted mirrors and nine beams with a combined power of 70kW. From the 10 m [33 ft] wide wishing well, the dense light beams are reflected up to 4,000 m [13,120 ft] in the air. The artwork is funded and maintained by Ono, Reykjavík City, Reykjavík Art Museum and Reykjavík Energy. It is sustainably powered using geothermal energy. Engraved in the tower’s mount is “Imagine Peace” in 24 languages, referencing Lennon’s song Imagine.

The artwork is directly related to another piece by Ono, Wish Tree, which has been ongoing since 1996. She invites people to write their wishes and hang them on branches of trees native to their country. The Wish Tree has since become digital. She collects the wishes herself, totalling over a million. The wishes are buried in the base of the Imagine Peace tower: the wishing well. The beam of light then symbolically illuminates the wishes up into the sky. You can send in your own wish here.

The Imagine Peace Tower’s lighting times

The tower was first lit in 2007 on John Lennon’s birthday, October 9th. Every year, it lights up on October 9th and shuts off on December 8th, the date of Lennon’s passing. In addition, it is lit from winter solstice until New Year’s Day and on Yoko Ono’s birthday, February 18th. Lastly, it lights up for one week during the spring equinox: the dates of Lennon and Ono’s wedding and honeymoon.

Why Iceland?

Iceland continues to hold the title of the most peaceful country, as ranked by The Global Peace Index. Therefore, Yoko Ono felt it was the right location for the Imagine Peace Tower. Ono has spent a lot of time in Iceland and was made an honorary citizen of Reykjavík in 2013.

Where is the Imagine Peace Tower?

The light installation is located in Viðey, a small island off the coast of Reykjavík. In the summer, ferries to Viðey are available daily from both Reykjavík harbour and the Skarfabakki pier in Laugarnes, Reykjavík. In the winter, the ferry only departs from Skarfabakki pier on Saturdays and Sundays. As of 2024, the price for the boat ride is ISK 2,100 [$15, €14] in the winter and 2,300 [$17, €15.50] in the summer. Guided tours of Viðey island and the Imagine Peace Tower are available year-round.

 

Peace Tower Lighting Ceremony Cancelled Due to Weather

Imagine Peace Tower

The annual lighting of the Imagination Peace Tower ceremony on the island of Víðey just off the coast of Reykjavík has been cancelled due to inclement weather. Per an announcement on the City of Reykjavík’s website, Sunday’s planned celebrations have been called off due to wind warnings in Faxaflói Bay, where Víðey is located.

The Imagine Peace Tower is an outdoor artwork by Yoko Ono in memory of her late husband, John Lennon. The white stone monument emits a tower of light, which extends upward at least 4,000 metres (13,100 feet) on a clear night. The words “Imagine Peace” are inscribed on the monument in 24 languages. The tower is lit every year from October 9th, Lennon’s birthday, through December 8th, the date of his assassination. It has been lit every year since 2007.

Lighting will be livestreamed

Typically, free ferries transport guests to Víðey on the evening of the lighting to observe the ceremony and participate in a variety of activities, from live music performances to guided history walks around the island.

Although the in-person ceremony has been cancelled this year, the tower will still be lit as usual, at 8:00PM local time. The lighting will be broadcast live on the Imagine Peace Tower website and RÚV’s television and radio schedule on Sunday evening will include a number of related content, such as a TV segment on the history of the tower, and a radio documentary about the life of John Lennon. His song “Imagine” will also be broadcast at 8:00PM, when the tower is lit.

Time Capsule Displayed at Reykjavík City Library to Mark Lennon’s 80th Birthday

Ten years ago, on what would have been John Lennon’s 70th birthday, four time capsules in the musician’s honour were sealed at The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio in the US. RÚV reports that one of those capsules was gifted to the Reykjavík City Library, where, COVID regulations permitting, it will remain on display until around December 8, the day Lennon was assassinated.

See Also: Peace Tower Lighting Streamed from Reykjavík

The time capsules, which were created in a collaboration between the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Box of Vision LLC, and Yoko Ono, will be opened in 2040 on what would have been Lennon’s 100th birthday. They contain all of Lennon’s solo albums (on CD), some of his artwork, books about him, photographic materials, messages from his fans, and a message from Yoko Ono. The creators anticipated that CDs would be obsolete in 2040, so CD players were also placed in the capsule so that the albums could be played upon opening.

The Reykjavík City Library prepared a display with the time capsule and its many Lennon and Beatles-related holdings at its downtown branch to coincide with the lighting of the Imagine Peace Tower on Lennon’s birthday, Friday, October 9. In that capital-area branches are currently closed due to pandemic regulations, however, librarian and collection manager Sigurður Jakob Vigfússon made a short video presentation of the materials to whet local fans’ appetite while they wait for a chance to view capsule and perhaps borrow one of the library’s many Lennon biographies, or a Beatles or Lennon album on vinyl. (Sigurður Jakob notes that the time capsule itself cannot, unfortunately, be loaned out to library patrons.)

The other three time capsules are held at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Liverpool School of Art and Design, and at an unspecified location in Japan.

Peace Tower Lighting Streamed from Reykjavík Tonight

Imagine Peace Tower

Yoko Ono’s Imagine Peace Tower, located on Viðey island off the coast of Reykjavík, will be lit in a ceremony tonight to mark what would have been John Lennon’s 80th birthday. The white stone monument, which emits a tower of light that illuminates the sky, was conceived by Ono in memory of her late husband. The yearly lighting is normally open to the public, but this year it will be streamed instead.

“I hope you will join us in celebrating the relighting of IMAGINE PEACE TOWER,” Ono wrote in a Facebook post, “in Iceland and around the world. Remember, each one of us has the power to change the world.”

https://www.facebook.com/YokoOno/posts/10158601821150535

 

The Peace Tower’s light extends upward at least 4,000 metres (13,100 feet) on a clear night. The words “Imagine Peace” are inscribed on the monument in 24 languages. The tower is lit every year from October 9th, Lennon’s birthday, through December 8th, the date of his assassination.

This year, New York’s empire state building was also lit blue in honour of Lennon’s birthday.

Readers can watch the lighting ceremony on the Peace Tower’s official website tonight at 9.00pm UTC.

ISK 5.8 Million to Brighten Peace Tower

Yoko Ono’s art installation on Reykjavík’s Viðey island has never shone brighter, Vísir reports. The column of light, known as the Imagine Peace Tower, received an upgrade this year in the form of new mirrors which make the work brighter and more beautiful than before, according to Sigurður Trausti Traustason of the Reykjavík Art Museum, which oversees the work.

The Imagine Peace Tower is an outdoor work of art conceived by Yoko Ono in memory of John Lennon. The white stone monument emits a tower of light, which extends upward at least 4,000 metres (13,100 feet) on a clear night.

The tower is illuminated in a special ceremony which takes place every year on October 9th, Lennon’s birthday. Nearly 1,800 people attended the ceremony last month, a record for the event. According to Sigurður, lighting the tower involves a bit more than just flipping a switch.

“Each year a group goes out to Viðey to align the tower. There are nine spotlights which form the tower and they need to be straight,” Sigurður explains. One staff member lights the first spotlight while four others evaluate whether or not it is pointing straight up.

“It’s easier said than done as the work stands on open ground and there’s nothing to compare against. It’s similar to a larger work in New York, where the twin towers once stood, and there they’ve got all these straight skyscrapers to measure against,” Sigurður states. He adds that the team often calls a friend on the mainland to judge whether the light is perfectly vertical.

“It happened once that we thought we had finished the job, but when we had gained some distance we saw that the beam was quite crooked. By then it was just too late so we had go out to the island the following day to fix the work.”

The new mirrors cost of ISK 5.8 million ($46,000/€42,000). That’s a fair price to pay, considering the Tower’s overall cost since its inauguration in 2007 has been just over ISK 40 million ($321,000/€290,000).

Imagine Peace Tower Illuminated Tonight

Imagine Peace Tower

Yoko Ono invites locals and visitors in Reykjavík to sail to Viðey island tonight for the 13th annual lighting of the Imagine Peace Tower. Rides on the Viðey island ferry will be free of charge from 5.30pm as well as buses from Hlemmur bus terminal to Skarfabakki pier starting at 5.15pm. The tower will be illuminated at 8.00pm, but the evening has a full program including live music and guided tours starting at 5.45pm.

The Imagine Peace Tower is an outdoor work of art conceived by Yoko Ono in memory of John Lennon. The white stone monument emits a tower of light, which extends upward at least 4,000 metres (13,100 feet) on a clear night. The words “Imagine Peace” are inscribed on the monument in 24 languages. The tower is lit every year from October 9th, Lennon’s birthday, through December 8th, the date of his assassination.

The full program for the evening can be seen on the City of Reykjavik website (scroll down for English).