Week 16: 25 December 2011
A message to all Nowherians on Christmas Day
Alex Hartley delivers a message to all Nowherians to mark Christmas Day and the winter solstice.
Transcript of Video
Hello, I’m Alex Hartley and I’m the artist behind Nowhereisland. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, fellow Nowherians! Thank you so much for signing up and becoming part of our adventure. 2011 has been an amazing year for us: this project has been seven years in the making and this last year saw us finally going back to the Arctic. I took an intrepid expedition team into the High Arctic archipelago Svalbard, which is the last land before the North Pole. There we found again the tiny island revealed by retreating glacier, new land, fragile and uncharted.
I’d like to thank the expedition team and all those who’ve helped us get this far. I’d like to thank the Resident Thinkers for their brilliant contributions. Their voices add an amazing richness and depth to our endeavour. They have helped propose starting points for our citizen-led constitution, for our new nation. We are very much indebted to those thinkers who have given their time and energy towards this and towards making this project so meaningful, and to future Resident Thinkers coming up in 2012. And thank you to those of you who are entering into debate and dialogue with these posts, your thoughts and reflections are really valuable to the project.
It’s only a few days now past the winter equinox and this is the time of year when the sun never rises above the horizon in the Arctic. It’s the darkest and coldest time of year and it seems to me now that as we progress towards the start of the Olympics and the launch of Nowhereisland, that the project too is emerging from its intensive planning stages and into production of both the island and the embassy. It’s fantastically exciting to be able to see the sense, the start-line now of July 2012 and at the same moment, when the world’s nations will gather together to participate in the Olympic games, that another nation, a borderless nation, made up of citizens from across the globe, will appear floating off the coast of Weymouth. Nowhereisland, a new nation without borders that has journeyed south in search of its people.
As we have been working on developing Nowhereisland over the past 2 years, it’s become clearer to me that the island nation that will have journeyed south is to be only the symbol of Nowhereisland and that the real heart of the project is spread across the globe within its citizenship. Already over 4000 of you, you are Nowhereisland and I thank you for being part of this adventure. I hope you continue to follow us into 2012 and search out ways in which you can contribute and have your voice heard as a Nowherian. Season’s Greetings, wherever you are, and a fair wind behind you for 2012.
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Alex Hartley is the artist who conceived of Nowhereisland. Known for his photographic and sculptural depictions of remote landscapes, his artistic practice is wide ranging, comprising wall-based sculptural photographic compositions, room-sized architectural installations and interventions, and more recently, large-scale colour photographs of remote wildernesses with invented low-relief architectural elements inserted into their surfaces. Alex Hartley has shown in both national and international exhibitions including Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh (2007), Natural History Museum (2006), Distrito Cuatro, Madrid (2003), The National Museum of Art, Osaka, Japan (2001) and the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark (2000) and is represented by Victoria Miro Gallery. Alex currently lives in Devon, UK.