Banbury Howard

Dismal day out with Banksy

In my quest to experience all that British (and beyond) creativity has to offer, over the August bank holiday weekend I made the journey to Weston Super Mare to check out Banksy’s Dismaland.

The apocolyptic ‘bemusement park’ is a temporary art project, organised by the satirical street artist, Banksy, and includes works from more than 50 other artists, including a pickled unicorn (why not?!) from artist and artistic curator, Damien Hirst, and miniature scenes of violence from Jimmy Cauty – the artist whose career started at the age of 17 when he painted posters for The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, and who is also known for being a part of The KLF and later The Orb.

From the Grim Reaper dancing to the Bee Gee’s Staying Alive, to Cinderella’s toppled carriage and a circus freak tent, Dismaland, touted as ‘the UK’s most disappointing new visitor attraction’ has everything you need for an alternative fun family day out.

Having attended Banksy versus Bristol Museum in 2009, I thought I was prepared for Dismaland. But Banksy, along with a number of other alternative artists, has gone bigger and even more hard-hitting with anti-establishment messages.

There was an awful lot to see, including Cauty’s model village boasting over 3,000 policeman, and with incredible detail to a boating lake featuring migrants making their passage to a better life.

Adding to the overall atmosphere, the staff did a brilliant job at being rude, and the constant playing of Hawaiian background music with the occasional announcement tainted with microphone interference really added to the experience as a whole.

While it’s had varying reviews in the press, for those with an interest in design, and in opening up to differing viewpoints, Dismaland is definitely an attraction worth visiting. And at £3 a ticket you’d be silly to miss it. Remember though, it’s only open for five weeks until 27th September.