Nowhereisland has become an inspirational story for thousands of people across the world. The island has journeyed from the High Arctic region of Svalbard and was discovered by artist Alex Hartley. As the island passed out of the jurisdiction of Norway and into international waters, it was declared the world’s new nation with citizenship open to all.
A nation for just a year, the island and its Embassy conclude its 2,500 mile journey in Bristol for a final weekend of celebrations. Nowhereisland’s visit to Bristol is part of a weekend of talks, performances and artist films to mark the final days of the small nation. In association with Bristol Festival of Ideas, The Last Days of Nowhereisland will explore the project as a sculptural act, utopian dream, direct action and a landscape on the move.
Nowhereisland brings together Hartley’s concerns of the last two decades. Better known for his glass encased series of architectural installations, Hartley maintained a critical interest in the complex and often contradictory attitudes toward the built environment. Drawing strongly on the history of conceptual artworks, which have contested land ownership, territorial boundaries and urban regeneration, Nymark (Undiscovered Island) was the name of the work through which Nowhereisland emerged. Nowhereisland consisted of negotiations over a number of years to secede a newly emerged Arctic island from the Norwegian government using the national and international processes by which one might claim territorial rights, by which one country might claim sovereignty over another.
For the final stop of its tour, Nowhereisland will enter Bristol via the harbour lock to moor in Cumberland Basin, with its Embassy parked alongside on the harbourside.
The Last Days of Nowhereisland, 7th until 9th September, Bristol. www.nowhereisland.org