Driving for 6 hours and then queuing for 2 and a half hours in the pouring rain on a typical british summer's day is something quite dismal in itself. On the third day of opening, myself and my other half, got up at sunrise to make the long car journey from north Essex to the Somerset coast. After hearing about something as controversial and artistic as this event, it was something i couldn't miss. As an Art lover and student, i was sure this would be an exhibition/event that many would be talking about for years to come. After paying an affordable £3 each for our tickets, we approached the entrance where we were greeted (more like moodily ordered) and told to get into two separate queues to go through 'security'. Security was a cardboard version of the standard Airport security, metal detectors, security cameras and everything else you can imagine.
Once inside the converted Lido, come funfair-theme park, you're greeted with a chaos of both familiarity and difference. You'll see the castle, the funfair rides and the enticing games which end up costing you an arm and a leg to win anything. However there is something chillingly different about this park. Anvils replace coconut shy's, needles replace darts, immigrants on old boats replace those colourful happy ones on the boating pond. There is so much to take in, its hard to see everything at once. Around every corner you'll discover something new and then the second time around you'll come across something else. It's clear to see Banksy has put a lot of thought into this exhibition. Everything has a somewhat controversial stance, enlightening you on things we may see as issues which might not actually be issues. Perhaps this may be our loss of control, the traps society places for us to fall into or narrowly avoid (ahem, payday loans with 1000% APR, what is that all about?!), the way the authorities control us or the treatment of humans and animals. It's all cleverly done in a way that makes you think for yourself, the information and the art is put right there in front of you, its for you to make up your own mind. The park is not only filled with twisted games and attractions, there is a lot of art to see. There is an exhibition hall, bus and ten filled to the brim with interesting pieces. Dismaland is brought together by idea's and ideals from many artists, including that of Damien Hurst, Jenny Holzer, Laura Lancaster and Brock Davis. There is merchandise on sale in the park however, all i felt i really needed was my camera and also the A3 programme that cost £5. I'd definitely pick that up if you can, it has some really interesting information about the artists and the planning of the dismal place. I don't want to go into too much detail because it's worth a look in itself and i don't think you can truly grasp the atmosphere and the whole concept of the place without actually being there. For those that can't make it but really want to see more, i have included a large amount of images below for you to browse through and delve apon. If you're not sure whether to go, for me it was worth the £3 and the long journey down there. I couldn't recommend it enough. Oh, and it gets you out of the house, off of the computer and exploring beautiful Somerset too!
The Exhibition halls:
A few extra snapshots from my iPhone:
'The Artist has decided to cover his work to protest at being exhibited alongside Artists from Israel. We are hoping to resolve the situation as soon as possible and apologise for any disappointment.'