Research into the work of other artists and how they respond to a site

Research into the work of other artists and how they respond to a site

After a year at sea, Alex Hartley’s Nowhereisland completed its journey, from Arctic island to visiting nation. The simple narrative premise – the journey of a small island from an Arctic archipelago as a migrant nation during the London 2012 Games –acted as this new nation’s emblematic back-story inspiring over 23,000 global citizens.

Nowhereisland is above all sculptural – a provocative and ambitious act of material displacement by the artist, which challenged our assumptions about the fixity of landscape. The island territory of Nowhereisland was unrelenting in its barren nature – distinct from the green and fertile coastal surroundings for much of its journey – an alien Arctic landscape describing the coast of the south west UK and drawing a picture of the coastal communities it visited.

A symbol of a displaced nation journeying south in search of its people, Nowhereisland existed in isolation but always within sight of its Embassy – a mobile museum carrying with it the stories of its origins.

A logistically complex work of land art, the project offered a redefinition of public art inspired encounters locally and internationally: from the promise of utopia through the online constitution, to the collective celebrations in small ports and harbours around the south-west region.

The year-long, wide-ranging, Resident Thinker programme included contributions from artists and writers such as Matt Coolidge of the Center for Land Use Interpretation, Suzanne Lacy, Tim Etchells, Salena Godden and Yoko Ono, geographers and ecologists such as Tim Cresswell and Tim Smit, constitutional lawyer Carl Gardner and scholar of utopia, Richard Noble.

“Since I first heard of this I have been fascinated with not simply its meaning, but also with the potential of its visual presence… I want to see that little piece of alien land squatting in the waters off the British Coast. I want to see Nowhereisland because seeing causes me to think, to remember, to associate, and to look at things in a different way .. “Powerful ways of acting spring from powerful ways of seeing.” (Susan Lacy)

As a final act, Hartley announced that on leaving Bristol on Sunday 9th September, the island territory would be dispersed amongst its citizens – piece by piece.

Nowhereisland is a work of land art for our time with profound social, political and economic implications within the context of London 2012.

The Story of Nowhereisland

The Story of Nowhereisland began in 2004, when artist Alex Hartley discovered an island (Nyskjaeret) which had been revealed from the melting ice of a retreating glacier in the High Arctic archipelago of Svalbard, whilst on a Cape Farewell expedition. Alex was the first human to ever stand on it and with the help of the Norwegian Polar Institute registered the island on all future maps and charts.

In September 2011, Alex returned to the Arctic with an expedition team formed from some of the UK’s brightest minds. He retrieved the island territory, with the permission of the Governor of Svalbard, and on reaching international waters officially declared Nowhereisland a nation. Nowhereisland embarked upon its 500 mile journey in Weymouth at the opening of the Olympic Games on 25th July 2012 and concluded it in Bristol for the finale of the Cultural Olympiad on 9th September 2012.

About the Artist

Alex Hartley works primarily with photography, often incorporating it into sculpture and installation, Hartley’s work explores new ways of physically experiencing and thinking about our constructed surroundings — through surface and line, scale and materials, locations and contexts. His practice is wide ranging, comprising wall-based sculptural photographic compositions, room-sized architectural installations and, more recently, photographic works with sculptural elements inserted as low-relief into the surfaces of large-scale colour prints. Uniting these works is an investigation of modern architecture and the ways in which it is conceived and presented. Hartley has shown his work in both national and international exhibitions at venues 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). Hartley is represented by Victoria Miro Gallery, UK.

Funders and Supporters

Nowhereisland is an Artists Taking the Lead project, part of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad. It is produced by Situations and funded by Arts Council England. We also gratefully acknowledge the support of Bloomberg, the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Royal Norwegian Embassy, Nicky Wilson Jupiter Artland and Yellowbrick Tracking.


13.11.14 – Situations.org.uk

extract from Alex Hartley’s Nowhereisland Project.

“Since I first heard of this I have been fascinated with not simply its meaning, but also with the potential of its visual presence… I want to see that little piece of alien land squatting in the waters off the British Coast. I want to see Nowhereisland because seeing causes me to think, to remember, to associate, and to look at things in a different way .. “Powerful ways of acting spring from powerful ways of seeing.” (Susan Lacy)







Google Search : What is public art

  1. Public art is art in any media that has been planned and executed with the intention of being staged in the physical public domain, usually outside and accessible to all.




 Google: What is Site Specific Art


  1. Sitespecific art is artwork created to exist in a certain place. Typically, the artist takes the location into account while planning and creating the artwork.


    Jenny Holzer  is a site-specific artist + we really like the way she subverts the spaces used for commercial displays to send a message + express social concerns. What is interesting about her work is that it challenges the notion of who has the power to display>>
    Are billboards exclusive to corporate brands or can they be used as canvases  by artists + the public>

…….. the highlight of the exhibition for me. Jenny Holzer, a conceptual artist from New York, rented a billboard in Times Square and lit it up with ‘Protect me from what I want’.


site, specific, art, action, streetart, street, art, tate, modern, tatemodern, london,  robert pennekampAn impression of installations, paintings, sculptures, site specific art actions, art in public space and studio.
Main themes are selfportraits, daily life, power, the art world, attraction and advertising. Most of installations are made of recycled materials and found objects. Artworks of contemporary art and modern art.

At the moment I’am inspired by a book of Buddha Mind in Contemporary Art of Jacquelynn Baas and Mary Jane Jacob. The field between art, buddhism, pschychotherapy and life comes together in one point of view. I’am an artist and a brainstormer at the Brainstormbureau. It’s about creation, consciousness and a creative and perceiving mind.


neuzenpluis, miss piggy, pluizenmonster, textiel, artzuid, amsterdam, site, specific, art, action, robert, pennekamp, robert pennekamp, holland, art, site specific art action


This is Sculpture:-   http://www.tate.org.uk/download/file/fid/6383



Baptiste Debombourg’s created this amazing site-specific art installation in Benedictine abbey in Cologne, Germany.


An explosion of Bamboo at the Denver Botanic Gardens

The Denver Botanic Gardens recently unveiled the new Bonsai Pavilion and Tea Garden.  As part of the celebration, large site-specific art installations in bamboo have been erected.  Two artists were featured and I particularly liked the works by internationally-known artist, Tetsunori Kawana.  This piece is right when you enter the gardens.  Titled “The Shape of Fundamental Energy II – 2012”.  It reminds me of a big dust devil that I would see in the Arizona desert.




 Joseph Beuys

 Living as Form, Socially engaged art from 1991-2011

WWW Xmas come early, my books have arrived from SITUATIONS – the only one out of stock was their own SITUATIONS book, ha ha – happy reading!!

One Day Sculpture frontOne Day Sculpture middleOne Day Sculpture

Locating the Producers frontLocating the Producers – Durational Approaches to Public Art

The New Rules of Public ArtThe New Rules of Public Art.

Tony White Missorts Volume IIMissorts Volume II

The Master Plan coversThe Master Plan – Stephen Hodge

Thinking on the Outside frontThinking of the Outside – New Art and the City of Bristol.

Falling into Place frontFalling into Place – Heather and Ivan Morison.

A very good book for my research studies.

Australian perspective.

Enjoyed reading this book, although a bit on the architectural side of things, but still very interesting, and a topic which interests me.

In the process of reading this one.


One Place After Another, by Miwon Kwon.  A very difficult read, but very interesting overview on American site specific work since the 1960’s.


white cube book

Not really what I was looking for, but interesting to learn how the displaying of art work has changed over the years.



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