ByAlister Wynn
2 min read

Yoke invited as resident thinkers on Nowhereisland

As part of a public art project for this summer’s Cultural Olympiad, we’ll be sharing our vision for the new nation that is Nowhereisland.

Nowhereisland is one of 12 public art projects which will form part of the Cultural Olympiad this summer. The idea comes from artist Alex Hartley who is working in collaboration with Situations, here at Spike Island.

Alex opens the project by asking,

"If we were to create a new nation, how might we begin?"


Rather than this being merely a hypothetical question, Alex has gone one step further and has boldly created a new nation, Nowhereisland – a place where the public are invited to sign up as citizens and share their views on how to make a better go of things than we have done in our own nations.

After discovering a new island in the high arctic, Alex sailed a portion of this new territory out of it’s Kingdom of Norway jurisdiction (with permission from the Norwegian government) at which point it was officially declared a new nation. On the 25th July Nowhereisland will be floating off the coast of Weymouth – the site of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic sailing events, and it will then begin a six-week journey around the south west coast of England, finishing in Bristol on the 9th September.

The whole concept of a new nation inspires reflection and contemplation of what it means to be a citizen and, in a time of huge global crisis, it gives us the opportunity to envisage a new beginning, and think about how we might do things differently, allowing us to individually answer Alex Hartley’s question.

So far, over 4300 people have signed up to be citizens of Nowhereisland and are in the process of collectively writing the island’s constitution. The Island has also invited 52 resident thinkers from around the world to contribute letters detailing how we might shape this new society. Resident thinkers include the likes of Yoko Ono and Tim Smit (co-founder of The Eden Project) as well as Yoke’s very own Jay Bigford and Alister Wynn! We’re pretty chuffed about that.

We’ll be creating something special for our letter so watch this space!