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28 May 2011

Alex Hartley and Tim Smit in conversation in Falmouth

Stuart Mitchell, Situations

Tim Smit & Alex Hartley

There was a busy house at The Poly, Falmouth on Thursday when ProjectBase hosted Nowhereisland artist Alex Hartley in discussion with Tim Smit, Chief Executive and co-founder of the Eden Project.

Alex began by introducing the origins of his idea during the 2004 Cape Farewell expedition and the various stages his project has undergone to become the Artists Taking the Lead project for the South West region. Alex drew comparisons between a piece of moon rock brought back to Earth and Nowhereisland, in that each piece of rock embodies the story of an epic journey. Alex, Tim and the audience discussed how the inspirational image of an island migrating in search of its people offers the opportunity to re-imagine our capacity as citizens and hosts, and Alex considered how the colonialist gesture of claiming land might be re-imagined as a gesture of generosity, international exchange and a bid for freedom.

4 May 2011

Over 1000 citizens after Spike Island Open Sudios

Max McCLure Photography

Nowhereisland Citizen at Spike Island Open Studios

A constant flow of people came through the doors of the Situations office at Spike Island, Bristol, over the weekend, to learn about Nowhereisland and to meet Alex Hartley and the team. The event was part of the May bank holiday Open Studios weekend at Spike Island, which played host to families and individuals engaging with a wide range of art practices through studio visits, exhibition and events.

Nowhereisland received a particularly positive response from visitors, confirmed by the number of new citizens that registered over the weekend, with the total number of registered surpassing 1000 by the end of the event. As well as meeting the artist and discussing the project, visitors created new designs for the national flag, ate enough cake to put it firmly in the running for the national dish and offered up some fantastic new ideas for the first Bill of Rights, which will be added to over the coming months and then voted on by Nowhereisland’s citizens when the micronation is declared in September.

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Nowhereisland is a Situations project led by artist Alex Hartley, one of 12 Artist Taking the Lead projects for the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad funded by Arts Council England. We also gratefully acknowledge the support of the University of the West of England, Bristol; Bloomberg; Nicky Wilson Jupiter Artland; the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs; the Royal Norwegian Embassy and Yellowbrick Tracking.

Identity designed by Fraser Muggeridge studio and Wolfram Wiedner, website by Wolfram Wiedner.