20 August 2015
Britain’s best-loved and most elusive street artist Banksy has been all over the news this week. First there were rumours, next Chinese whispers, an obligatory sensationalist Daily Mail exposé and then finally today confirmation from the man himself, that yes indeed Banksy has been working on his latest, most ambitious group show yet, in the quaint location of Weston-super-Mare.
The huge event called Dismaland, which opens tomorrow and runs for 5 weeks, is being billed as a “festival of art, amusements and entry-level anarchism”. The space that Banksy has transformed was a former disused lido called the Tropicana; a stones throw from the sea in the Somerset town. In a statement Banksy said, “I loved the Tropicana as a kid, so getting to throw these doors open again is a real honour”.
Previous to Banksy’s unveiling the locals and county council has been told that a blockbuster Hollywood movie called ‘Grey Fox’ was being filmed in the fenced off area, but people started scratching their heads when no film equipment was seen and there was no sight of the film industries ubiquitous runners milling around the town clutching dozens of skinny lattes.
The exhibition will feature work from a huge number of artists including Damien Hirst, David Shrigley, Paul Insect and Bast amongst others. There will also be a model village on display created by previous ink-D exhibitor and Brighton based artist Jimmy Cauty. The blurb on the Dismaland website read “Jimmy Cauty’s hand crafted miniature world will delight and amaze (and potentially cause seizures in persons sensitive to strobe lighting)”. Click here to see all work available from Jimmy Cauty.
Other attractions include an armour plated riot van built to serve during the troubles in Northern Ireland which has be repurposed into a children slide complete with sniper posts and a grenade launcher. We are also particularly intrigued by the ‘Jeffery Archer Memorial Fire Pit’, where you can “Warm yourself around an authentic real open fire ceremonially lit each day by burning one of the fame local perjurer’s novels”. So it looks like a trip along the coast is in order because events of this magnitude don’t happen regularly. Plus for £3 entry with 3 large galleries and 47 internationally renowned artists on show, Dismaland promises to be a twisted wonderland of delight and jaw-droppingly brilliant art. If you make it down there before us let know us know what you think!