21 July 2012
Last updated at 00:10
Artist Alex Hartley and 18 volunteers excavated about six tonnes of material from an island exposed by a retreating glacier on the Svalbard archipelago, north of Norway. The material has been sculpted into a piece of art called Nowhereisland. The BBC takes a look at the first sighting of the island ahead of it being officially unveiled to the public on 25 July in Weymouth.
Alex Hartley's floating sculpture, measuring 44m by 9m, will be towed by a tug across the south west coast over the next three months. It will be moored about 100-200m from land for people to see.
Nowhereisland is one of 12 art projects in the UK commissioned by the Arts Council as part of the Cultural Olympiad. As the island travels along the south coast, it will be accompanied by a mobile museum, known as The Embassy, which will welcome visitors and share information about the project inland.
Despite nobody being allowed on the island, members of the public are being encouraged to sign up to become residents, known as Nowhereians and share their ideas.
When The Embassy travels to various communities, people are asked for their suggestions for a constitution. Concepts already put forward include no taxes, free public toilets and no beards.
The island will visit eight harbours and ports on its journey, including Exmouth, Torquay, Plymouth, Mevagissey and Newquay during August and Ilfracombe and Bristol in September.
Mr Hartley originally visited the Norwegian island in 2004 as part of a climate change expedition and went back several years later after being awarded £500,000 by the Arts Council to create the sculpture.
Mr Hartley said the island would raise more questions than answers. Love it or hate it, the island has already got people talking.
More than 8,000 people have already signed up online and in person to become residents.
As Nowhereisland went out to sea for the first time, many people sailing nearby were curious as to what it was.
The Embassy will always be close to the island to interact with members of the public.
After a year, the island will be broken into pieces and given to people who have signed up to be Nowhereians. Mr Hartley said pieces of the island would be sent across the world. Photographs by Stephanie Barnard.