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The Journey Embassy

Arctic Expedition


Nyskjaeret in Svalbard Photo: Max McClure

Alex Hartley searched for and discovered Nyskjaeret in 2004. The island had been revealed by the melting ice of a retreating glacier. Alex was the first person to set foot on the island. It's about the size of a football pitch (though a third of the island had disappeared back into the sea by the time of the 2011 expedition). It is made up of moraine and loose rocks on top of some bedrock. Alex built a cairn at the centre of the island with the date of his discovery inside a tin can. In 2006 the Norwegian  Polar Institute agreed to recognise the island and to name it and include it on all subsequent maps. On the 2011 expedition, Alex replaced this can with a signed note by the expedition team marking their visit, along with a letter written by an eight-year old from Bristol.

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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.