The mysterious street artist Banksy has created a “Family theme park unsuitable for small children” in Weston-super-Mare in Somerset.
He has managed to keep this latest project secret until this week. Locals were told that a crime thriller called Grey Fox was being filmed there, but speculation mounted when a woman believed to be his manager, Holly Cushing, was spotted at the site.
But on Thursday Dismaland opened to the public. The 2.5 acre seafront site has been filled with darkly comic ‘bemusements’ that are characteristic of Banksy’s work. A Disney-style castle has been ravaged by fire, Cinderella’s pumpkin carriage has crashed and is surrounded by paparazzi, there is a Comrades Advice Bureau, where people are instructed how to break into bus-stop advertising boards. There is even the Jeffrey Archer Memorial Fire Pit, where Archer’s books are burnt daily.
It’s not just the imagination of Banksy that is on display – there are also a handpicked selection of artworks by 58 other artists, including Damien Hirst.
However Walt Disney lawyers are not invited to this subversive theme park. Small print on the website says: “The following are strictly prohibited in the Park – spray paint, marker pens, knives and legal representatives of the Walt Disney Corporation.”
But Banksy has insisted the show is not a dig at the company. “I banned any imagery of Mickey Mouse from the site,” he said. “It’s a showcase for the best artists I could imagine, apart from the two who turned me down.”
For images see here