Sculptures and Outdoor Art in Reykjavik

Wonderguide by

Nína Þorkelsdóttir

Sculptures and Outdoor Art in Reykjavik

Paying attention to art in public spaces makes your ordinary city-stroll a tad more interesting. Here are a few sculptures and outdoor art pieces that I really like.

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Sculptures and Outdoor Art 🗿

Image - Þúfa
Nína:Ólöf Nordal’s interactive and eco-friendly sculpture is situated in Grandi, an up-and-coming former industrial area close to the harbour. It lets you climb 8 meters (26 feet) to the top, and rewards you with a great view of Mount Esja, Harpa and downtown Reykjavík.
Image - Водолій / Vatnsberinn
Водолій / Vatnsberinn
Nína:Vatnsberinn by Asmundur Sveinsson depicts a woman carrying two buckets of water. The piece is a tribute to workers and labourers during tougher times in Iceland.
Image - Sun Voyager
Sun Voyager
Nína:One of the most iconic sculptures in Reykjavik, situated by the ocean (close to Harpa concert hall).
Image - Monument to the Unknown Bureaucrat
Monument to the Unknown Bureaucrat
Nína:This bronze sculpture by Magnus Tomasson is dedicated to the anonymous officials and bureaucrats that keep society running. Recognizable only from his suit and suitcase, the entire upper body of the subject is left unhewn from the rock. The sculpture is situated by the Pond.
Image - Útlagar
Nína:Utlagar (Outlaws) by sculptor Einar Jonsson depicts a vagabond, carrying his lifeless wife on his back while holding their child. A powerful piece of art, situated by the Holavallakirkjugardur Graveyard.
Image - Hafmeyjan
Nína:The little mermaid was created by sculptor Nína Sæmundsson. iInspired by folktales about a mermaid that sang beautifully to entice sailors fishing close by, it may well have been the inspiration for H.C. Andersen’s tale of the little mermaid, later made famous by Walt Disney. Find this sculpture on the Pond, the shallow lake in the city centre.
Image - Kvika footbath
Kvika footbath
Nína:This sculpture in Seltjarnarnes (west of Reykjavik) doubles as a footbath. A lovely spot for stargazing and northern lights hunting.
Image - Stunning Art in Videy Island, Reykjavik
Weekly Tour: Imagine Peace Tower
Nína:The Imagine Peace Tower is an artwork by Yoko Ono - an homage to her late husband John Lennon. It's basically a huge pillar of light situated on an island close to Reykjavik, but visible from the city (only during winter).
Image - braud og co.
Street Art in Reykjavik: A Colourful World
Nína:There's plenty of refreshing outdoor art in Reykjavik, check out this story for more info.
Image - Leif Eriksson Monument
Leif Eriksson Monument
Nína:Leif Eiriksson was an explorer who sailed to North-America around the year 1.000, long before Christopher Columbus set foot on the continent.
Image - The Black Cone, Monument to Civil Disobedience
The Black Cone, Monument to Civil Disobedience
Nína:This piece is dedicated to civil unrest in the aftermath of the financial crash in Iceland, in 2008. The piece is by Santiago Sierra and is aptly located in front of the Parliament.
Image - Ingibjörg H. Bjarnason statue
Ingibjörg H. Bjarnason statue
Nína:This statue is also located in front of the Parliament. It depicts Ingibjorg H. Bjarnason, Iceland's first female MP.
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Wonderguide map

  1. Þúfa
  2. Водолій / Vatnsberinn
  3. Sun Voyager
  4. Monument to the Unknown Bureaucrat
  5. Útlagar
  6. Hafmeyjan
  7. Kvika footbath
  8. Leif Eriksson Monument
  9. The Black Cone, Monument to Civil Disobedience
  10. Ingibjörg H. Bjarnason statue

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