This weekend, Ian and I braved the crowds and visited the latest ‘bemusement’ park in the South West, Banksy’s Dismaland.
Hotly anticipated tickets meant the website crashed so for the opening weekend, you could just turn up and try your luck. Having missed his last exhibition in Bristol, Ian and I were determined to see this one down the road from us in Weston-Super-Mare so set our alarms and after a swift 3 and a half our wait (!!!) we were in!
As soon as you stepped inside the once-derelict Tropicana building, the experience started with in-character staff giving you a very gloomy greeting. My first impressions were of a sad, tired, ageing seaside resort with a dilapidated castle as a centre point and various attractions dotted around.
We visited the art galleries first of all which were incredible. A mix of sculpture, art installations, paintings and a whole model village; the subversive art genre was very much alive. My favourites were the tattooed ornaments and the cross-stitched car.
We spent the next few hours wandering around, watching some short films in deckchairs, riding the big wheel, eating pizza, visiting the exhibits and having a go on both the carousel and rotating caravan.
Having grown up in a seaside town that is dependent on a holiday park, I loved the social commentary behind a lot of the exhibits here. It was great that there were a variety of artists’ work here and as I would say is normal, there were pieces I enjoyed and others I didn’t. It was refreshing to be able to see these works of art in an alternative setting and despite the rather lengthy queue, I felt once inside the organisers got the numbers just right and there was no queuing or having to wait to do anything.
I believe that it will be ticketed entry from this week onwards and although I cannot say that anyone else will ‘love’ these pieces of art, I do recommend a visit here, simply to experience the originality of the whole concept and you can go for fish and chips afterwards on the sea front! x