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Banksy’s Dismaland opens with work from Damien Hirst

August 21, 2015 by Mary

Banksy-Dismaland

Photo: Claire Hayhurst—PA

“Dismal Land – a festival of art, amusements and entry-level anarchism.

Are you looking for an alternative to the sugar-coated tedium of the average family day out? Or just somewhere a lot cheaper?
Then this is the place for you. Bring the whole family to come and enjoy the latest addition to our chronic leisure surplus…”

Banksy-Dismaland

Sculpture by Banksy. Photo: Yui Mok—PA

Banksy’s biggest project to date is all over the media. Dismaland – or “bemusement park” – will open to the public tomorrow. It includes a variety of scatterbrain attractions such as a book burning fire pit, self operated puppet show, and features works by 58 handpicked artists including Damien Hirst and Polly Morgan. “It’s a showcase for the best artists I could imagine, apart from the two who turned me down.”And 10 new works by Banksy himself are part of the pop-up exhibition, including the Cinderella carriage crash. This never-seen-before kind of site will also host live events every Friday night, including a headlining performance by Massive Attack and Pussy Riot on September 25th.

Banksy-Dismaland

Sculpture by Banksy. Photo: Yui Mok—PA

Banksy-Dismaland

Sculpture by Banksy. Photo: Yui Mok—PA

Banksy-Dismaland

Photo: Yui Mok—PA

Dismaland is built on ‘The Tropicana’ site in Weston-super-Mare. The Tropicana was an outdoor pool and leisure facility that closed in 2000 due to falling visitor numbers. Since then, there have been various attempts to either reopen or demolish the structure. "I loved the Tropicana as a kid, so getting to throw these doors open again is a real honour," Banksy said. The artist has paid for everything himself and obviously the project has been shrouded in complete secrecy. The curious were even led to believe that the installations being built in a disused former lido called Tropicana were part of a film set for a Hollywood crime thriller.

Banksy-Dismaland

Work by Banksy. Photo: Yui Mok—PA

The show is Banksy's first in the UK since 2009's ‘Banksy versus Bristol Museum’ show that drew huge crowds – therefore demand for tickets is expected to be particularly high. Dismaland will open to the public from August 22 through September 27th, 2015. More information on the website: dismaland.co.uk