The Art Guide To Dismaland – Banksy’s Bemusement Park (58 photos)

The Art Guide to Dismaland

By now you’ve heard about artist Banksy‘s dark and twisted alternative to the Magic Kingdom. Dismaland is a five week long festival of art, amusements and entry-level anarchism. With imagery and language not suited for younger children, the post-apocalyptic looking Bemusement Park features outdoor art installations and three large indoor galleries of contemporary art by 50 artists from 17 countries.

The Art Guide To Dismaland

Dismaland entrance

dismaland mickey stencil

dismaland castle

Constructed in an abandoned outdoor park on the English coast, Dismaland was built under top secret conditions, with fake notices alerting passers-by that Hollywood’s Atlas Entertainment production company would be filming a crime thriller called Grey Fox there.

An early sketch of the site and intended park:
site sketch of dismaland

In addition to the three galleries, the art exhibition contains a dilapidated Magic Castle, dark twists on childhood fairy tales, and caricatures drawn on the spot – but of the back of one’s head. A perverse version of Splash Mountain called Water Cannon Creek has an armor-plated riot vehicle equipped with sniper posts and grenade launchers that has been turned into a children’s slide and a distorted version of  The Little Mermaid arises from the brackish water.

Dismaland dilapidated Kingdom and Glitchy Mermaid IIHIH

Dismaland Brochure:
Dismaland brochure IIHIH

The Employees:
The entire exhibition is staffed by morose Dismaland employees wearing hot pink vests with Dismal marked on the back. Speaking in monotone voices, the staff are purposefully uninterested in being helpful or informative.

dismaland entrance and staffer

workers at Dismaland


A staffer hands out “I am an imbecile” balloons, a  very different version of the popular Mickey Mouse balloons found on every corner at Walt’s Disneyland:

I am an imbecile balloons replace the popular Mickey Mouse balloons

The Attractions

Dismaland Park Map
Dismaland Park Map
dismaland photos
an aerial view of the park

1.The Galleries

Dismaland boasts three large galleries which together comprise the finest collection of contemporary art ever assembled in a North Somerset seaside town.

A mushroom cloud made from cotton fibers by artist Dietrich Wegner
A mushroom cloud made from cotton fibers by artist Dietrich Wegner
Damien Hirst’s The History of Pain
Damien Hirst’s The History of Pain
A carousel horse and a giant ice cream cone sculpture in one of the galleries
A carousel horse and a giant ice cream cone sculpture in one of the galleries

2. Model Village
Jimmy Cauty’s hand crafted miniature world will delight and amaze (and potentially cause seizures in persons sensitive to strobe lighting).

Detail from an artwork by Jimmy Cauty titled The Aftermath Displacement Principle
Jimmy Cauty, The Aftermath Displacement Principle (detail), above photo courtesy of Yui Mok/PA Wire

A view of the entire installation, Photograph by Christopher Jobson for Colossal:
jim cauty installation

A video of Jim Cauty’s miniature village installation:

3. Cinderella’s Castle
Step inside the fairytale and see how it feels to be a real princess. Souvenir photos available.
dismaland castle cu

4. Guerilla Island
Features a bus-mounted museum, library, gallery of guerilla art, Comrades Advice Bureau and workshops in how to hack billboards.
Visitors can buy the tools to break into bus-stop advertising boards and make their own propaganda for just £5
above: Visitors can buy the tools to break into bus-stop advertising boards and make their own propaganda for just £5

5. Ben Long
Ben Long has constructed a stallion entirely from used scaffolding.
Ben Long Stallion Dismaland

6. Water Cannon Creek
An armour plated riot control vehicle built to serve on the streets of Northern Ireland. Equipped with sniper posts, grenade launchers and now – a children’s slide.

riot vehicle as slide

7. Mini Gulf
An oil caliphate themed crazy golf course made from the hockey pitch at Cheltenham Ladies college.
(sorry, I could not find an image)

8. Giant Pin Wheel
Commissioned by Banksy to power the entire site, it turns out this ecological marvel has trouble charging more than two mobile phones at once.
Banksy pinwheel

9. Kids Enclosure
Strictly for the little ones – an area that combines soft play and loan shop.

dismaland toby melville reuters
photo Toby Melville/reuters

10. Punch and Julie

The infamous Julie Burchill has given this seaside staple a good kicking. Now includes references to Jimmy Saville and Fifty Shades of Grey.
dismaland Punch and Judy puppet show2

11. Puppets
A puppet revue show constructed entirely from the contents of Hackney skips – it’s ‘Fly Tip Theatre’ by Paul Insect and Bast. Self operated.
paul insect fly tip theater dismaland_

12. Jeffrey Archer Memorial Fire Pit
Warm yourself around an authentic real open fire ceremonially lit each day by burning one of the famed local perjurer’s novels.

jeffrey archer memorial pit

13. Portrait Artist
Nettie Wakefield renders your likeness in an exquisite pencil drawing, but only the back of your head. Surprisingly revealing.

back of head caricatures Photo by Christopher Jobson for Colossal
above photo by Christopher Jobson for Colossal

14. Picnic Area
The humble picnic table proves a rich source of artistic ammunition for American furniture twerker Michael Beitz.
dismaland twisted bench

15. Cinema
Truck-mounted outdoor screen playing a rolling program of 24 short films day and night. Cushions not provided. (Tiz Creel has links to all the films that will be playing here)

16. Circus Tent
A gothic sculpture park in a tiny big top tent.

17. Amusements
Knock over an anvil in David Shrigley’s game of skill and cunning. Win big prizes on an oil-slicked hook-a-duck and the shooting gallery. Navigate the high seas with Banksy’s Mediterranean boat ride.

Topple The Anvil:
David Shrigley's topple the anvil game at Dismaland

topple the anvil at Dismaland

oil slicked birds carnival game

dismaland hook a duck game

18. Big Rig Jig
A masterpiece of post-industrial assemblage art – it’s two juggernauts performing ballet by Mike Ross.
Big Rig at Dismaland Yui Mok _ PA WIRE
above photo courtesy of Yui Mok /PA Wire

Several new pieces of Banksy’s own artwork can be found throughout the Bemusement Park, such as the pieces shown below:
Banksy Orca IIHIH

banksy wall art at Dismaland IIHIH

dismaland artwork 1 IIHIH

bansky drawing in gallery at Dismaland

dismaland painting

art from dismaland 2 bansky birds bench

Banksy billboard at Dismaland

Bansky art from dismaland

Other artwork and images from Dismaland:

banksy refugees
Boats filled with refugees are a riff on Disneyland’s It’s A Small World
And Cinderella’s magical night has a very different ending as her coach lays overturned as a deadly roadside accident and the paparazzi take pics
artist Bill Barminski
The airport-style security entrance, created by artist Bill Barminski
Banksy Dismaland Carousel
Banksy Dismaland Carousel
art installations
Butcher selling lasagne made from horses on the carousel
cereal boxes spell out Your Dreams Are My Nightmares
cereal boxes spell out Your Dreams Are My Nightmares
The Ferris Wheel
The Grim Reaper Bumper Car ride dismaland
The Grim Reaper Bumper Car ride
The picnic bench area (Photo by Christopher Jobson for Colossal)
The Selfie Hole
Carousel Horse Janus, 2015 (Courtesy of Maskull Lasserre)
Carousel Horse Janus, 2015 (Courtesy of Maskull Lasserre)
Free Hot Dog For Anyone Who Can Guess What Animal Is In Their Hot Dog
David Shrigley dismaland
David Shrigley posters
Take a Photo with terrorists
Action Man Battfield casualty doll
“Battlefield Casualties” dolls found in the Gift Shop

PTSD Action Man

Dismaland Video:

Dismaland is situated on the seafront in legendary Weston-super-Mare and is easily accessible by train, bus and road. Open everyday from 22nd August – 27th September 2015. 11am – 11pm.

Dismal Tickets Sales
The on-line ticketing system will be open on Tuesday 25th August from 12 noon at when you will be able to purchase tickets for that evening’s session (7-11pm) and the next 7 days.

Entry into the park on Monday is on a walk up basis and cash only.Admission £3, free for the under 5’s. Capacity is limited, visit the ticket page and book a time slot for guaranteed entry.

Dismaland logo IIHIH


additional image sources: Colossal, The Guardian, Reuters, NBC News, Barbara Arvanitidis/CNN, Express, PA/NewsWire