It was over 40 years ago when I conceived this idea of a Light House made of light, and listed it in my Conceptual “Sales List”.
Two hundred copies of the “Sales List” were sent out to people who followed my artworks.
In 1967, John Lennon invited me for lunch at his house, “Kenwood” in Surrey, England.
It was about six months after we first met in my Indica Gallery Show in London.
He told me that he read about the Light House in my publication and if I would build one for him in his garden.
“Oh, that was a conceptual light house! I’m convinced that one day, it could be built, but I don’t know how to do it.” I said with a laugh.
“Oh, I thought the Americans had come up with something” was what he said. And that was that.
I still marvel at the fact that John was touched by that particular concept in my catalogue, and 40 years ago at that!
In 1967, for my Lisson Gallery show in London, I re-wrote the concept more succinctly.
This was the way I should have expressed the idea to John in Kenwood, instead of laughing it off.
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 wanted to. The light
house may not emerge every day, just as the sun doesn’t shine every day.
Yoko Ono, 1965
Rewritten for Lisson Gallery, London, 1967
The electricity for the light is generated entirely naturally – geothermally – from hot water – at the Hellisheiði Geothermal Power Plant, the largest geothermal power station in the world. This was one of the reasons for situating the artwork in Iceland.