Dismaland – a Bemusement Park
WARNING: Spoiler alert! Contains Dismaland spoilers…
I have been a fan of the artist Banksy for some time, so when my friend was fortunate enough to get us tickets to his sell out ‘Dismaland Bemusement Park’ exhibition back in August I felt truly privileged I would get to experience it.
The derelict Tropicana on the seafront of Weston-Super-Mare has opened its doors for just 5 weeks to display the work of Banksy and 47 of his favourite artists. The overwhelming impression I was left with was that this is undoubtedly another Banksy masterpiece with an overwhelming level of attention to detail.
On entering the park, we were “greeted” by drone-like staff who were far from helpful and failed to answer any question you asked of them. Security staff patrolled the area, telling us to “jog on” and “stop smiling”, perfectly setting the scene for everything that was to come.
Once inside the ‘theme park’, you’re offered a bleak, Banksy-style alternative to a sugar coated day out. The installations and pieces offer a wide selection of cultural references and dark humour which certainly leave you thinking!
The main attraction sees a dismal-looking castle surrounded by a dirty pond, within this is a staged scene of Cinderella’s carriage, crashed and surrounded by paparazzi. Comparisons with Princess Diana are difficult to avoid.
The ‘Bemusement Park’ had more to experience than just a gallery too – from traditional (but slightly twisted) fairground games like ‘Hook-A-Duck’ where the prize was a fish finger in a bag, to a carousel mocking the horse meat scandal.
There was something to amuse everyone, especially the open-minded. Sadly Dismaland has shut it’s doors for good but if you’re looking for a slightly more family-friendly day out in the South of England I’d recommend you take a look at New Forest Activitie’s website: http://www.newforestactivities.co.uk/
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