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27/08/2015

Take a look at Dismaland

I’ve lived in the West Midlands for a few years now and have found myself asking, “So where is the nearest seaside to get to from Birmingham?” People say Weston-super-mere, but quickly dismiss it for the dramatic hills and coast of Wales. Nothing made me feel like I should take a trip there, until now.

Banksy has brought his biggest exhibition to the town, Dismaland. Like an apocalyptic theme park, he’s turned Disneyland and commercialism on its head. With grumpy guards, there are three galleries full of contemporary art and more. Damien Hirst is one of the 50 artists from around the world whose work appears in the park.

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This trailer for Dismaland Bemusement Park says it all. Click here to watch.

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It’s a peculiar thing when I think about all the little ones’ hearts who have been captured by Disney, especially Frozen. Every little girl wants to be a princess right? This was clear last weekend when I was asked to do an illustration for a three year old whose birthday was coming. What does she love? Disney, princesses and Frozen. So this is what I drew.

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The person who commissioned it was delighted and I hope the little girl will be too. But imagine if Frozen met Dismaland. I think it would have been a little more like this.

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Good job she’s not getting that one.

We grow up believing there is an order to things. Yet just like that dreams can be shattered. No warm hugs with Olaf. Oh and in Dismaland Cinderella is dead – carriage crash. As one of the pieces of graffiti in the park says, ‘Life isn’t always a fairytale’. So, is it worth going to? I haven’t been and I know the website crashed after getting 6 million hits a minute, but I think the answer is, absolutely. It’s in the perfect place for starters when our drizzly days are a guarantee for setting the mood. Statements about the world we live in are made. It’s very bold and big. And if you think it’s naff, well brilliant, because art in my opinion should create a stir. It should challenge you and trigger thoughts about the way we look at things. And us Brits love to be able to have a moan about something. I think we’re pretty lucky. Thanks, Banksy.

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