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Nowhereisland - The SW Cultural Olympiad porject

Nowhereisland is the Artists Taking the Lead project for south west England, part of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad and is led by artist Alex Hartley.

In summer 2012 south west England will welcome an extraordinary visitor, Nowhereisland, a new island nation originating from the Arctic. Nowhereisland will make an epic voyage of 500 nautical miles around the South West’s spectacular coastline, mooring at seven ports and harbours during the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The story of Nowhereisland began in 2004, when artist Alex Hartley searched for and discovered an island which had been revealed by the melting ice of a retreating glacier in the High Arctic region of Svalbard. Alex was the first human to ever stand on the island and, with the help of the Norwegian Polar Institute, registered it on all subsequent maps and charts. The 2004 expedition was led by Cape Farewell, an organisation dedicated to pioneering the cultural response to climate change.

In September 2011, Alex returns to the Arctic to retrieve the island territory, which will be sailed into international waters and declared a new nation before being transported to England. In July 2012, Nowhereisland will arrive in Weymouth for the opening of the sailing events of the London 2012 Olympic Games before voyaging around the south west coast accompanied by its land-based Embassy. Six weeks later Nowhereisland will arrive in Bristol for finale of the Cultural Olympiad.

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