The UK has a deep history of anarchy and political demonstration. Over time this has been given centre stage on the news and media outlets but never before has a world-famous, “anonymous” artist taken his political angst and put it on show quite as well as Dismaland by Banksy.
The “Bemusement Park” was constructed on a disused and dilapidated lido park area in Weston-Super-Mare, a British seaside town in Somerset visited by over 8 million people a year. While its place on the seafront might have been a dig at the state of British tourism and carbon-copy high streets as well as the unfortunate fact that previously buzzing places of community have been forgotten and left to wither, Banksy brought over 162,000 people to area to see his creation, pumping £20m into the local economy.
If you don’t know about Banksy, find some info here. A political and artistic hero in Britain, he encapsulated the frustrations of many Brits and people the world over.
Our love of art and experience meant that we waited at 9am in the morning frantically refreshing an internet page to get tickets. Luckily we did and we visited Dismaland before it closed its doors on 27th September.
Strewn with clever art and installations and the added “bonus” of dismal staff attendants and security who bent over backwards to do absolutely nothing for you except wish you a terrible day, we immersed ourselves in everything dismal.
As you might see in the video (see below), Elizabeth tried her best to be dismal while I absolutely failed, grinning and laughing all the way round. When we were leaving we were almost in stitches after being told to “get lost and go home”. I did win over one lady who was manning the Duck fishing game. She asked me what I was looking at and said that nobody liked me, I replied that my therapist said that too which made her laugh and she had to go hide.
The installation was only open for 6 weeks and we were very lucky enough to visit. The whole bemusement park was perfectly executed, provided plenty of food for thought, and actually offered quite a decent amount of entertainment. We thoroughly enjoyed our day.
Watch the video of our outing to Dismaland here: