Island will be broken up and given to its citizens
THE Arctic island that is to be towed into the Cumberland Basin this week as a piece of modern art, will later be broken up and pieces will be distributed among those who signed-up to island "citizenship".
The team behind artist Alex Hartley's £500,000 project has revealed that the island's tour of West Country ports will end in Bristol with the glacial scrub being split up, parcelled up and posted to supporters of the artwork.
More than 20,000 people have signed up to "citizenship" of the floating island, which has been attached to a barge and is accompanied on its travels by a mobile "embassy" bus.
Mr Hartley said: "The territory of the nation and its ideals will be shared and dispersed across the world among its network of citizens. Nowhereisland belongs to no one and to nowhere, to everyone and everywhere."
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Wednesday, May 22 2013
The controversial artwork was created as part of the Cultural Olympiad – the artistic celebrations surrounding this summer's Olympics.
The "island" is made from the accumulated moraine – or scree – removed from the surface of a small Arctic island recently emerged from beneath a retreating glacier off the coast of northern Norway. By rebuilding the island's surface on a 42 metre long (and 9.5 metre wide) barge, the artist aims to raise awareness of climate change at the poles as well as making people think about issues surrounding national identity and connection to the environment.
During the course of the island's surreal tour of West Country ports, which started in Weymouth in June and culminates with its arrival in Bristol on Friday, people have been able to sign up as citizens and have a say in the development of its constitution and laws.
The Devon-based artist produced the installation, working in collaboration with Bristol producers Situations, based at the University of the West of England.
He was awarded £500,000 of funding from the public purse for the project in 2009, when the Arts Council launched its Artists Taking The Lead scheme to develop artistic events to coincide with the London Olympics.
"The money was specifically ring-fenced for Cultural Olympiad projects by the Arts Council back when the world was a very different place economically speaking," Mr Hartley said.
"There has been criticism of the cost – there has even been some criticism directed at me as the artist, especially from other artists who are struggling to find funding for projects because they feel everything has been siphoned into Olympic events."
The project began in 2004, when Mr Hartley – one of the country's most prominent up-and-coming modern artists – was invited to join the Cape Farewell project, which aimed to use art to highlight climate change.
"I found this virgin patch of land – a small island at the edge of the glacier, and decided to call it Nyskjæret, or Nowhereisland," he said.
In the autumn of 2011, Mr Hartley returned to the Arctic and with the permission of the Norwegian government, landed on the island and removed the moraine layer of scree and sediment and relaid it on a waiting boat – leaving the original island stripped to its bare bedrock.
"You might think this sounds ecologically unsound," he said. "But the experts in Norway assured me this top layer would erode rapidly in the conditions and disappear naturally."
Those who have registered for citizenship by midnight on Sunday will be entitled to receive a piece of the 44m x 9m island territory.
To sign up for citizenship, or to claim your piece of island, visit www.nowhereisland.org.
â A celebration event will be held on Saturday to mark the end of the island's journey, at the ss Great Britain from 10am to 5pm. Alex Hartley will be joined by fellow artists, poets and writers Philip Hoare, Tim Etchells, Salena Godden, Keith Wilson, geographer Tim Cresswell, constitutional lawyer Carl Gardner and scholar of utopia, Richard Noble, to explore Nowhereisland as utopian dream. To book tickets go to http://thelastdaysofnowhereisland.eventbrite.co.uk.