On Wednesday R and I decided to get out of South Yorkshire and go on a mini-adventure. We chose to drive all the way to Weston-super-Mare (over three hours in case you were wondering) and try our luck getting into Dismaland. I was fully prepared for us to be unsuccessful – I’d even researched stuff we could do in Bristol for the day as a Plan B.
We arrived about an hour before the afternoon opening and amazingly got in! I want to share with you what we saw. To me it was a satirical yet meaningful call to action – the exhibitions made you laugh, think and then lament that this Dismaland isn’t that far from reality.
Please note this post contains spoilers. If you’re planning to go to Dismaland and want the experience to be a surprise, wait until afterwards to read on!
As we paid for our tickets the woman in the box office moaned about the weather and stared at us in disgust – I assumed she was just in a bad mood, but as soon as we stepped inside I realised that all the staff were, well, dismal.
Words that came to mind as we took the space in were: obsolete, tired, sinister and (yes you guessed it) dismal.
It was a bit like walking back into your childhood and finding it not looking as good as you remember it. Rose tinted glasses well and truly taken off (and stamped on for good measure).
It was really nice to see protest art displayed as actual art – an unusual thing. This was right next door to an installation by Damian Hirst.
We spent about two hours in Dismaland and left wet through and shivering from the rain. If you’re thinking about going but are worried you might not get in, my advice is just do it – it was worth the journey, rain and suspense.
The level of planning that must have gone into this is outstanding – everywhere you look you see more and more attention to the tiniest detail.
Displaying work by around 60 artists from around the globe, Dismaland has drawn visitors from all over the world – I heard a staff member telling someone it has put a fair few million into the local economy.
I’m very happy I got to see Dismaland!