Berwick on road to Nowhere Island?

Artist Alex Hartley on Nowhere Island, which has around 23,000 citizens

Artist Alex Hartley on Nowhere Island, which has around 23,000 citizens

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Berwick could play host to Alex Hartley’s Nowhereland Embassy if the public get behind a bid to bring him to the town.

Berwick’s Gymnasium Gallery is one of four venues in the running to win an exciting, unique event devised by contemporary artist Alex Hartley for Museums at Night 2014.

The Gymnasium Gallery is one of four venues shortlisted by Alex, whose work first came to the public’s attention during the summer of 2012 with Nowhereisland – a floating principality, which Hartley floated around the south west coast of England for the Cultural Olympiad, and which attracted several thousand wannabe citizens.

He is now proposing to relaunch the Nowhereisland Embassy as a base from which to explore the different threads that bind a community together.

Other venues competing for Hartley are Surgeons’ Hall Museum, Edinburgh; Townley Hall, Burnley; and Market Hall Museum, Warwick.

Members of the public have just two weeks to decide which artist will go where. Voting went live on Tuesday and closes on Tuesday, January 28. The venue with the most votes wins the bid.

James Lowther of Berwick Visual Arts said: “We’d love to bring Alex Hartley to Berwick. Many of the themes he explores in his work connect with Berwick and we are sure that he would help us to create a unique and memorable event for all the family.

“It only takes a few seconds to vote, so please vote for us!”

If successful, Berwick Visual Arts would put on a family event entitled ‘The Last Night in Berwick’, inspired by Alex Hartley’s Nowhere Island and Berwick’s unique location and heritage as a town that is often seen as neither English or Scottish.

The event at the Gymnasium Gallery would celebrate an imaginary time when Berwick is about to become its own island and sail away from the mainland (with a life-size knitted boat at its helm).

The 2014 Museums at Night festival is between May 15-17. Over 600 events, ranging from artist events to films, gigs and exhibitions, will take place all over the UK, giving visitors the chance to discover the museums and galleries on their doorstep in a new light.

If you would like to bring Alex Hartley to Berwick votehere.

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