Inside Banksy’s Dismaland

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).

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So welcoming

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Service with a smile

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Possibly the most confronting remote control boat game you’ll ever see
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The staff did a brilliant job at being miserable

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Loved this advert for pro-aging cream for kids

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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.

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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!

On The Moor :: Horror Souk

Down in London is a theatre company called Theatre Delicatessen. What they do in a nutshell, is take over abandoned buildings and perform immersive theatre – performances where the audience is just as involved as the actors.

They came up north recently and set up Moor Deli – they’re currently in the old Woolworths on Sheffield’s Moor. Social Sheffield’s Stage Editor, Sarah, is part of the collaboration and last night I finally went down to explore.

Currently, the building has been transformed into a tardis-like maze of haunting immersive theatre – they’re calling it the Horror Souk.

The old Woolies, like most dated department stores, has that eerie, empty feel to it. This coupled with creepy décor leads to you to feel on edge before you’ve even really got through the door.

I don’t want to give too much away, the beauty in these performances lies in the ‘not knowing’. What I loved is that they were equally immersive and confronting, yet all totally different and unique to each other. I’m going back for more on Thursday and I cannot wait.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My favourite performance from this first visit was Did You Call The Police? which was, to be frank, effing terrifying. In a good way…!

The Horror Souk is running up until 22 November – I recommend taking a friend or five!

Dog’s Birthday At Bird’s Yard

After I wrote about Bird’s Yard last week, they got in touch and kindly invited me to an event they hosted on Monday.  It was a community event in their basement, with performances from singers and a couple of stand ups. I love going to things like this so immediately said yes.  I’m really glad I went, the decor and atmosphere were serene and cosy, and the performances absolutely amazing.

We caught the last half of a set by Neil McSweeney, an amazingly talented singer.  We also saw two thirds of stand up act Staple/face and Nat Johnson – whose music blew me away.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I really hope to see more events like this in the future.  Make sure you check out all the mentioned acts out on Facebook, Youtube and Twitter.  It was a great way to spend a bank holiday Monday!

A Quirk Of Fate – Kuwaii Launch Party

Last week Marlee and I had a second blogging excursion to go, this time it was the Kuwaii Launch at A Quirk Of Fate.  A Quirk Of Fate is located in Northcote about a fifteen minute train ride from the CBD.  It’s one of those shops that stocks wonderfully quirky and unique trinkets and works closely with local designers and producers.
I had the pleasure of meeting Vulette who blogs over at Young Red Violets.  It’s great meeting other bloggers, it means you can make jokes about hashtags and people will actually laugh!

 

I loved the Kuwaii designs.  Perfect for summer or winter, and I’m also a big fan of wedges as I just can’t walk in heels.  They require too much effort for me.

 

 

There were a range of cards featuring puns around the names of Melburnian train stations, the one above is my favourite.

 

On the way back we spotted this cute graffiti, it’s elephants in parachutes.

Followed by this below.  This, is a Lush cat.  Lush is a local graffiti artist who leaves these cats all over Melbourne.  Each one has something different written in the paw.  Marlee and I always text each other when we spot a new one.  Until now I’ve not been able to photograph one because they’re usually on train lines, so I was pretty excited to spot one next to the pavement.

 

A Quirk Of Fate
289 High St
Northcote

e.g.etal Jewellery Exhibition, Flinders Lane

One of my favourite things about being a blogger is having a legitimate excuse to go to any kind of event, have a gander, have a free drink and then chat to strangers in a swanky venue.  Tonight was exactly that.  Marlee at String Of Events got invited to attend an exhibition of some new and current jewellery designs at e.g.etal on Flinders Lane.  She was allowed to bring a plus one and so of course picked me.

We arrived a little late but that didn’t matter, the venue was small so it was easy to to get around all of the collections.  I don’t really wear a lot of jewellery out here, I left the vast majority of it in the UK because I was too scared to risk losing anything – my rings are all inherited from grandparents and great aunts so they’re very sentimental.  Being at this event made me miss jewellery terribly, is that shallow?

Before I get to showing you pictures of the actual jewellery, here’s something arguably more important. There was free Hendricks on offer (and they got it right by serving it with cucumber):

Spot the gin

I used to be quite particular with jewellery.  I typically like designs that put on a twist on classic style – but not too much of a twist.  However, I feel that Australian designs (and not just in jewellery) challenge classic styles a lot.  I’ve grown to really like that after living out here for a year and feel I can now appreciate a wider variety.

Cue the photo essay …

 

This was my favourite ring.  Simple and beautiful

 

 

 

 

Amazing inner designs on these rings

 

 

I really liked the lady above’s outfit so I asked to photograph her.  It then transpired that she was actually one of the designers!  Anita Crowther is her name.

 

 

 

 

And last but not least, here are a couple of pictures of shoes that I spotted and really liked.

 

I will really miss blogging excursions like these with Marlee, hopefully I can seek out similar ones in London and then when (not if!) she visits we can resume business as usual in Blighty.