THE meeting of two ‘islands’ with remarkable stories was celebrated in a community get-together on Portland.

Tied Islands was a free event to celebrate the impending arrival of the art project Nowhereisland, a piece of the Arctic that has been declared a new nation and will be coming to Weymouth and Portland as part of the Cultural Olympiad celebrations.

Nowhereisland will pass Portland on August 4 as it makes its journey around the South West.

A representative from the project was welcomed to the Tied Islands event at the weekend by organisers Chiswell Community Trust.

Organisers said they wanted to get people thinking about ‘art, nature and island living’ as they arranged music and discussions in the Chiswell walled gardens.

It was also a chance to show off the Chiswell Earthworks at West Weares, a land sculpture by John Maine, which was created as part of the Chesil Sea Defence Scheme on Portland. People who attended learnt about the earthworks and about the journey of Nowhereisland.

They also found out more about the work of the Chiswell Community Trust and there was a collection on the day to help raise much needed funds for the ongoing upkeep of the sites it looks after, which includes the earthworks, the walled gardens and the Incline Community Orchard and Garden.

Tied Islands started off with a call from Portland Town Crier Stuart Cave.

It was followed by music from the ukulele duo Stacey Hobday and Lucy Broddle, who are known as ‘Til there was Uke’ and have written a special welcome song for Nowhereisland.

Later there was a discussion between the art project’s curator Michael Prior and earthworks artist John Maine.

Unfortunately live music direct from the earthworks later in the afternoon had to be cancelled due to high winds, which would have made it impossible for people to perform. Despite this, Sandra Symes from the Chiswell Community Trust said it was a ‘fantastic’ day, which helped to raise the profile of the Trust and Nowhereisland.

“Both Portland and Nowhereisland have remarkable stories to tell,” said Mrs Symes.

Arctic island on a journey

Nowhereisland is an Arctic island on a journey, accompanied by its Embassy, a mobile museum telling the stories of the project, which is funded by £500,000 of Lottery money.

Nowhereisland, which will be positioned on a barge and towed around, will be moored off Bowleaze Cove in Weymouth for the Olympic sailing events from July 25 to August 2.

On the day of its arrival there will be workshops, a march to Furzy Cliff to welcome the island plus live music and performances.

Nowhereisland will pass Portland as it continues its journey on to seven more ports in the region.

The project is devised by artist Alex Hartley, produced by Situations, and is part of the Cultural Olympiad and Maritime Mix.