I was lucky enough to spend most of my Friday exploring Banksy's latest work - and probably the best art installation I've ever seen - Dismaland. The "bemusement park" itself is in the old Weston-Super-Mare lido (the old fountain remains) and features work by not only Banksy but Damien Hirst, Ed Hall, Leigh Mulley, Dietrich Vegner, Jani Leinonen and many more. Here I've captured my favourite pieces, which were suprisingly not the most obvious attractions. Banksy's Cinderella castle and Ben Long's stallion were incredible to look at, and I couldn't help but love the faded glory of the ferris wheel, but I found myself drawn to the details - posters, signs, the old playground rides, Wasted Rita's fly posters.. My personal highlights were Death in a bumper car (being spun to Stayin' Alive!) and Jenny Holzer's billboards - she is one of my favourite modern artists and I find her statements and inflammatory essays incredibly thought-provoking.
If I were to describe Dismaland in three words the first would in fact be 'thought-provoking', followed by 'inspiringly dismal'. A few minutes in there and my mind was whirring with ideas about Banksy's clear anti-consumer commentary, and the more I explored the more I thought. So many issues are skated over at the moment and here we found them cleverly presented yet clear - immigration, consumerism, cruelty.. Banksy himself was said to have attended and heard people saying "But what does it do?" about some of the installations - clearly they're not getting the point. The entire advertising of this is one giant art piece, not really a seaside amusement, and you've got to dig a little deeper than that.. Hopefully, even if people don't understand it, their interest will be piqued and they can start looking into the meaning behind some of the artwork and become a little more conscious of the world around them - I know I've already got some issues to look into!
Tara India xo