Video collaboration between David Bickerstaff and Alex Hartley
HD video | Black and white | 16:9 | 17 min
NORTH is a powerful visual essay that portrays the high arctic as a place of myth and science fiction, a beautifully stark landscape, which reveals a fragile relationship between nature and human endeavour.
In 2011, David Bickerstaff was invited to be part of an expedition team to accompany the artist Alex Hartley as he created his public art project called 'Nowhereisland'. The project was part of the 'Artists Take The Lead' programme run by the Arts Council of England for the 2012 Cultural Olympiad. A team of academics, students, activists and artists sailed to the high Arctic, filming and discussing issues around land grab, citizenship, nationhood and climate change while collecting territory from a remote island to construct a new island nation on the south west coast of England.
NORTH is the result of discussions between the artist and film maker, during and after Nowhereisland had finished. Reviewing the footage taken and thinking about what they had observed and understood from their time in the high arctic, it was decided to devise a video work that reflected their collective thoughts - NORTH.