but when you see the island
there will be magic in it ."
- Alex Hartley
"It's dawn in early summer 2012.
A large crowd has gathered on the Cobb at Lyme Regis.
People have camped through the night to be here.
The sea is calm and placid.
Then a remarkable sight emerges against the backdrop of the famous cliffs.
A large island moves through the water on a long, low barge.
Dark silver in tone, it appears like an alien material on the Lyme horizon.
Part epic sculpture, part spectacular vessel,
it moves closer to the land
dwarfing the small boats that herald its arrival at the harbour."
"Artist Alex Hartley will bring an arctic island to the South West of England. He discovered the island in the High Arctic archipelago of Svalbard as part of the 2004 Cape Farewell expedition. The island was revealed from within the melting ice of a retreating glacier and Alex was the first human to ever stand on it. It is about the size of a football pitch, consisting of rubble and moraine around a small amount of bedrock. The Norwegian Polar Institute has recognised the island and it is named and included on all maps and charts subsequent to its discovery.
A portion of the island will be transported to South West England through international waters and whilst en route it will apply for micronation status. The new 'micronation', nowhereisland, will navigate the entire 702 miles of coast around the South West region, visiting its ports and harbours, accompanied by a travelling embassy support vehicle. nowhereisland will embark from Poole and arrive in Weymouth and Portland for the duration of the Olympic sailing events, before continuing west and ending its journey in Bristol, the same port from which John Cabot set sail to search for the fabled North West passage.
This artwork seeks to poetically explore issues of climate change, land ownership, national identity and the exploitation of the earth's remaining natural resources.
At the end of the island’s journey around the south west coast, the winning entrant of an international architectural competition to design a small island habitation will be chosen. The small building will be erected on the island for Alex Hartley to live in."
go to nowhere island