30 January 2020
A contemporary artwork depicting a map of the UK shows a dystopic view of the UK post-Brexit, a humorous but stark reminder of a country steeped in division.
With the highest leave count in the UK at 75.6%, Boston is the most prominent town on the map. The District of Chichester, surrounded by water on all sides, is now 'The Cape of Chichester'. Deal in Kent is now 'No Deal'. Oxford , which voted 70.3% remain, is completely underwater. Scotland is immersed underwater creating new bodies of water like the ‘Strait of Edinburg’. Only Moray in the north, with a 50.1% vote to remain, is left as a tiny archipelago. Cardiff, which voted 60% for Remain, is now nothing more than a tideway. Wales has lost its north-western coastline of Gwynedd and Ceredigion, both of which voted for Remain. The western border of Powys now forms its coastline. Most of Northern Ireland is underwater with only its eastern districts left.
Artist Stephen Walter, said:
"The ongoing political arbitration has caused a massive geographical shift away from the UK we all recognize, which is now undergoing a process of alteration and flux. Here, the concept has caused the alteration of place."
Brexitland follows on from recent works of Walter's that explore the breaking down of place and the dismantling of traditional institutions.
Brexitland, 2019 appears in Talking Maps, an exhibition open until 8 March 2020 at the Bodleian Libraries, Oxford that celebrates maps and the stories they tell. The exhibition showcases iconic treasures from the Bodleian’s world-renowned collection of more than 1.5m maps, together with exciting new works on loan and specially commissioned 3D installations. Featuring 'imaginary maps' such as Brexitland, 2019 as well as Grayson Perry’s Red Carpet and Map of Nowhere and J.R.R. Tolkien’s maps of Middle-earth, the exhibition offers a new perspective on the enduring power of maps.
Fine Art print editions of Brexitland, 2019 are available through the artist Stephen Walter at
Images: Brexitland, 2019. Stephen Walter