Category: Banksy – Inside

Banksy’s Dismaland in pictures

Banksy’s latest project ‘Dismaland’ opened to the public on Saturday 22nd August 2015. Featuring work by more than 50 artists from 17 different nations he has assembled a mass of thought provoking, topical and challenging art (you try knocking the anvils off their perches). This picture heavy post contains a small fraction of what is included in the show – allow yourself plenty of time to take it all in if you’re visiting….

Dismaland occupies the site of the disused and derelict Tropicana Lido on the sea front in Weston Super Mare. Through a clever piece of deception its existence was kept quiet right up to just a few days before the show by claiming that a film entitled ‘Grey Fox’ was going to be shot there. A perfect excuse to explain all the construction work and to have Security stop prying eyes.

Another colossal vehicle is this security forces truck from Northern Ireland repurposed as a fountain and with a a children’s slide sticking out the other side. It appears beached in the Lido pool which is full of weeds and worse. Definitely not a place for a dip.

Banksy’s Dismaland installations often relate to animal themes. On the fairground carousel one of the horses has been hoisted by its hind legs while a slaughterhouse worker takes a break underneath from preparing lasagne – a clear reference to the horse meat scandal of recent years. Round the other side a marauding bunch of anarchists who seem to be part of the show jump on the ride waving banners whilst standing on the backs of their steeds.

Near the back of the venue where the arched diving boards structure used to stand an orca whale jumps from the confines of a toilet through a hoop into an unfeasibly small paddling pool full of dark liquid. Maybe a comment by Banksy on these beautiful creatures being trapped performing tricks in pools that are microscopic in comparison to their natural habitats.

Again from Banksy is this over the top illustration of seagulls attacking humans. Seemingly referencing recent media stories about the “menace of seagulls” but taking it to extremes it also provides a photo opportunity for anyone who cares to sit on the bench.

Of course this shows not all about Banksy (more of whom later) – there are around 50 odd international artists who have either contributed work or are actively engaged on site during the show. Time for a whistle stop tour around some of the other works….

Nettie Wakefield was working on site producing portraits in pencil of the back of guests heads. This really gives her the opportunity to show off her stunning technique in capturing every last detail including the way the light falls on each strand.

Wasted Rita from Portugal has a wall of her dark advice at the rear of the castle. The power of the simple written word.

Dotted around the site are a series of yellow signs to make you think about the your stay in Dismaland.

More direct thought provocation is provided in the form of these bus billboard take overs. A nearby stall provides instruction leaflets on how you can open these ubitiquous advert stands and place in your own posters.

Escif can be found in the far left hand corner with a series of heads and this piece depicting a tree stump in which the embedded axe is sprouting new shoots – ‘Hope’.

Ben Long’s scaffolding pole horse dominated early pictures of the exhibition and it’s easy to see why. Now dwarfed by the nearby big wheel it has plenty of competitors for the most iconic image of the show.

David Cameron gets the shove…if only.

Vying for ‘best in show’ is Jimmy Cauty’s simply breathtaking in its scale and detail ‘Aftermath Displacement Principle’. 23 crates worth of riot torn city featuring around 3000 1/87th scale police officers all uniquely made from modified model railway workers. An exhibit you can stare at for a very long time and still find something new, theres a wealth of little scenarios to take in whilst trying to comprehend the whole. Can you find the Queen making an official visit?

Moving inside for a bit you enter what is essentially a gallery space but first you walk past illuminated display boards from Jenny Holzer and Banksy’s reaper bumper car installation. Every so often disco music pumps out, the lights come on and Death attempts to escape the confines of his electric prison by slamming into the edge of the arena all to no avail.

Entering the main hall theres a plethora of different style on show. Damien Hirst’s standout piece has a beach ball held constantly aloft over a bed of blades by the push from air being blown upwards. If it it ever stops the balloon will surely drop and be burst.

Some of the painting technique on show is exquisite. From a distance Lee Madgwick’s paintings of urban buildings in idyllic countryside settings look like photoshop creations. A closer inspection reveals their intricate detail.

Australian Dietrich’s Wegner’s mushroom cloud tree house dominates the central room capturing a moment of beauty borne out of destruction. In that cloud are the debris of peoples lives, the structures they lived in and everything they held dear to them.

Nearby is the embroidery of Severija Inciraauskaite-Kriauneviciene. Instead of being encased in wooden samplers its cross stitched over unusual objects, most bizarrely over what looks like a van or car door.

Banksy has a huge piece in the hall which I’ll feature in a later post but almost unoticed near ground level and to the left of it appears to be his tribute to P183. Its location is interesting as it’s right next to one of the signature pieces of the entire show.

Outside again there are yet many more highlights to see. The Cruel bus has an exhibition showing how design is used to maintain power and control over us all whilst a large tent contains a mass of both beautifully painted and hurriedly scrawled protest banners and signs. Of particular note are the ones by Ed Hall who has a long history of providing trade union groups and others with memorable protest art.

There’s a wide variety of untypical fairground attractions with loaded outcomes – I tried my hand at both the duck pool and Insect and Bast’s bling stand both to no avail. but it was still a lot of fun. Elsewhere there are rotating caravans, rickety big wheels and a children’s sand pit with a sandcastle so large that Dad’s on the nearby Weston beach will struggle to impress their kids in comparison.

For me the most haunting exhibit from the exhibition was the boating lake. Looking like it’s set in front of the white cliffs of Dover you put your pound in the slot and take control of either a boat full of people or a patrol boat. In the water bodies float by conveying the deadly serious plight of those still breathing on board the boats.

 On the wall of the lido buildings down the left hand side is this ingenious painting of a woman taking a shower while a boy peeps in. Is the other boy on look out duty or is he still more interested in his childhood toys? Either way he is not joining in on the others curiosity.

Of course everyone wants to go into the Castle and here Banksy has a surprise in store. If you are asked to have your photo taken do as instructed and look to the right. Maybe even crouch a little and pretend to take a photo while doing so – you’ll understand why when you exit this scene of a princess in a coach crash being photographed by paparazzi – an obvious reference to the death of Princess Diana.

Despite the length of this post there is still much more to see, here’s some general views to wrap up with with a couple of other highlights.

Banksy’s take on the Little Mermaid

The nightly burning of Jeffrey Archer’s novels

The view from the bar looking towards Weston’s other attractions

Dismaland at night

And of course at the end of every day in the Magic Kingdom there are fireworks – in Dismaland these made appearance at the end of the opening night.

So much more to see, it’s far from a dismal experience. Watch the Dismaland trailer. Book tickets to Dismaland and find out more information on the official Dismaland website.


Banksy’s Dismaland – open now!


Banksy’s Dismaland now open until 27th September.

I was lucky enough to go on Friday night and it more than lives up to expectations. Amazing work on display and so much to see.

Already very popular I’d advise you to always check for the latest information before travelling long distances. If you’re local try your luck on the day – the venue has a decent capacity. The ticketing problems appear to have been because of the massive public interest – I’m sure these will get sorted out and there are still several weeks left.

A few highlights from the opening night below – a lot more to come in the next post.

‘Big Rig Jig’ by Mike Ross

Art appears everywhere including the food and bar areas.

One of the most topical and thought provoking pieces on display is Banksy’s take on the put in a pound and drive a model boat around a lake attraction. Except that you control a refugee boat or one owned by the authorities and there are bodies in the water…

Jimmy Cauty’s Aftermath Displacement Principle. This shot shows just a tiny corner of a colossal model landscape contacting 3000 riot police officers.

In a striking parallel with Disney there were fireworks at the end of the opening night.

View from Weston Super Mare’s sea front was stunning.

More photos soon



Dismaland Bemusement Park

DISMALAND BEMUSEMENT PARK – opens this weekend featuring work by Banksy and a whole raft of other artists:

Visit the official site here for all the latest details: – further information below.

This weekend sees the opening of the Dismaland Bemusement Park at the derelict Tropicana Lido site in Weston Super Mare, England. Closed since 2000 the North Somerset venue has been the subject of constant wrangling and plans over its future but it looks like, courtesy of Banksy’s latest project, it’s about to get a whole new lease of life – well for five weeks until the 27th September at least anyway.

Inspiring image from

Promising a “festival of art, amusements and entry level anarchism” it costs just 3 quid to get in and is easily accessible by public transport from its location on the sea front. Tickets are available from the Dismaland site from Friday 21st August so get in early if you’re planning on going.

The international roster of nearly 50 artists is nothing short of amazing and includes Banksy, Damien Hirst, Block 9, Escif, Jimmy Cauty, Peter Kennard and Cat Phillips, Paul Insect and BAST to name but a few. Also appearing over the five weeks are live events on Friday nights. You can rest assured I’ll be trying to get tickets for both Sleaford Mods (18th Sept) and Pussy Riot (25th Sept). In fact maybe I should have kept that bit quiet in hindsight….

Good luck getting the tickets you want.

Site illustration:


For full details including opening, ticket purchasing and site map go here: Dismaland

Full list of artists at time of writing:

Amir Schiby (Israel) / Axel Void (USA) / Banksy (UK) / Barry Reigate (UK) / Ben Long (Sweden) / Bill Barminski (USA) / Block 9 (UK) / Brock Davis (USA) / Caitlin Cherry (USA) / Caroline McCarthy (UK) / Damien Hirst (UK) / David Shrigley (UK) / Dorcas Casey (UK) / Dietrich Wegner (USA) / Ed Hall (UK) Escif (Spain) / Espo (USA) / Fares Cachoux (Syria) / Greg Haberny (USA) / James Joyce (UK) / Jani Leinonen (Finland) / Jeff Gillette (USA) / Jenny Holzer (USA) / Jessica Harrison (UK) / Jimmy Cauty (UK) / Josh Keyes (USA) / Julie Burchill (UK) / Kate MacDowell (USA) / Laura Lancaster (UK) / Leigh Mulley (UK) / Lush (Australia) / Mana Neyestani (Iran) / Maskull Laserre (Canada) / Michael Beitz (USA) / Mike Ross (USA) / Nettie Wakefield (UK) / Paco Pomet (Spain) / Paul Insect & BAST (UK/USA) / Peter Kennard & Cat Phillips (UK) / Polly Morgan (UK) / Ronit Baranga (Israel) / Scott Hove (USA) / Severija In?irauskait?-Kriaunevi?ien? (Lithuania) / Shadi Al Zaqzouq (Libya) / Suliman Mansour (Palestine) / Tinsel Edwards (UK)



Unofficial Banksy show in London – last few days

BANKSY The Unauthorised Retrospective
Curated by Steve Lazarides

Large scale exhibitions of Banksy works indoors in London are rare things indeed – especially if you exclude those that feature ripped off the wall artworks. The Cans Festival of 2008 (which technically was outside) and Crude Oils back in 2005 were probably the last official events. This is something of a disappointment to many visitors to the capital who often ask this site where they can see an exhibition of the artists works.  Asides from the locations map and the odd unofficial show put on by the Andipa gallery there’s not been much.

Trouncing all previous unauthorised shows and curated by Banksy’s former agent Steve Lazarides this one is actually worth seeing. Yes, the rarified atmosphere of a Sotheby’s gallery with its attendant security guards and receptionists seems partly at odds with the style of the work but if its the art you want to see then this is currently the place to do it. There are a healthy smattering of never seen before in public pieces along with those that haven’t been on show since they were presumably sold at previous exhibitions. Down in the basement are several walls full of some of the rarest Banksy prints you’ll ever set eyes on. Many are labelled as number 3 in their edition size. I’ll leave you to guess who has 1 and 2 (which roughly translates as I don’t know).

Here’s a taster of what’s on show – and don’t forget after the 25th July you’re unlikely to see much of this stuff again any time in the near future.

On the left is Monkey Queen, a stencil with oil and emulsion that was originally at the little attended Glasgow Arches ‘Peace Is Tough’ exhibition in 2001. In the middle there is the never seen in public before Burger King Kid work which featured in Wall And Piece. On the right Sunflowers From  Petrol Station which  appeared at Crude Oils in 2005.

By the entrance are some small glass cabinets chock full of contact sheets, rare stickers and other paraphernalia from Banksy’s early career. These give a great insight into some of Banksy’s earliest images, particularly in London.

Turf War – based on an inspired defacement of Winston Churchill’s statue outside Westminster. Originally on show high up at the Turf War exhibition of 2003.

Guantanamo Bay. Previously seen at Crude Oils, 2005 and Barely Legal in LA, 2006

Trolleys – Last seen at the LA exhibition Barely Legal, 2006

Bomb Middle England (Diptych) from 2000

Pest Control – Banksus Militus Vandulus: Originally covertly installed in the Natural History Museum in 2004

UFO: Last seen at Banksy vs Bristol Museum, 2009, previously on show at Barely Legal, Los Angeles, 2006.

Nice early piece from around 2000, never seen this one before. In the background is Bullet Proof David from the Barely Legal show

The print room downstairs includes six colour ways of Kate Moss Prints from an edition of 20. Ask the price if you dare.

Soup cans galore including the print that started it all on the left.

Flying Copper from the 2003 Turf War exhibition

Banksy The Unauthorised Retrospective closes 25th July 2014. Entry is free


The Sincura Show – Nothing to see here

No pictures on this post because I haven’t gone to see the exhibition above. Why? Because…

– it’s not authorised by the artist, in fact from the above I’d say he hates it.

– the organisers have destroyed the entire context of the pieces on display and then want you to cough up 20 quid to look at what was given to the public for free.

– it encourages the organisers and others to take Banksy pieces off walls where anyone could enjoy them and puts them in the hands of the moneyed elite with no morals.

There is no power without control. They’ve taken a gift to you and want to charge you to view it then say you can’t take pictures and that this is the last time you’ll see it. Why, because their aim is to sell to the highest bidder. They even employ goons to ensure no vandalism,… I could go on but really it’s all in this post on Graffoto .

If you want to see some real Banksy art in London this weekend check here.


Saturday 22nd March, 12 noon PST

ORIGINAL POST, read the update below: Following on from collaborations with other artists such as Shepard Fairey, Faile and Invader are reportedly planning a collab with Banksy to mark World Water Day at 12 Noon PST sharp on And that’s about all I know right now. So check in on the day at the right time to find out more.

UPDATE: Message on “Banksy Has Not Made Any T Shirts For A Water Charity”. This is exactly why I used the word “reportedly’ in my original post as it seemed odd. Once details were released on including the claim that this was the first and last time he would do this I smelled a rat and not the Banksy kind. Banksy has definitely produced T-shirts on several occasions before including Wrong War and Turf War designs. Supporting clean water for drinking and sanitation around the world is still very much a worthwhile cause but you don’t need to buy an expensive T shirt of very questionable authenticity to do this.

Finally a few pictures from last weeks #withsyria campaign support:




On March 6th, 2011 in the Syrian city of Daraa several young boys were caught writing on a wall that “the people want to overthrow the regime”. The authorities responded by arresting over a dozen children, reportedly torturing them. It was an event that led to serious unrest and was part of a protest that ultimately turned into a full scale uprising that has rapidly led into a civil war. Three years on and 9 million Syrians have been displaced, many fleeing to neighbouring countries to find shelter. While world leaders wring their hands and ineffectually posture the suffering continues unabated.

On the 13th March 2014 an attempt will be made to show these leaders that we haven’t forgotten, that we will not ignore. Stand with Syria (#withsyria) is a worldwide demonstration of solidarity with the Syrian people. Vigils will be held in London (Trafalgar Square), New York, Khartoum, Hong Kong, Nairobi, Melbourne and other locations in over 30 countries and involving multiple organisations. As a symbol of this demonstration Banksy has created a new version of one of his most iconic images – the girl with a balloon. Entitled “There Is Always Hope” the child in the picture is now Syrian and it will a prominent motif in the vigils taking place. Get involved, show your support, the organisers have made it as easy as attending an event, taking a picture, updating your status or using the #withsyria tag to take part. Let’s try to make them listen. We need a breakthrough, we need peace. Now.

Read more: Oxfam, BBC


Banksy – Better Out Than in – Day 15

Appearing in Tribeca on day fifteen of Banksy’s Better Out Than In artist residency this unassuming wall has been turned into a piece looking back to the moment of impact of the first plane into the World Trade Centre. It comes with no accompanying audio explanation but maybe this particular artwork doesn’t need one.

Banksy in Trebica (photo:


Somethings up…

…on Banksy’s got something planned for October 2013 that’s better out than in…keep watching out for more.


Caveat Emptor

After receiving a plexiglass coating in a near record breaking time Banksy’s bunting piece has remained in place on the side of a Poundland since May 2012. Not any more as witnessed by this photo kindly supplied by Sarah.

Now what would appear to have happened in this instance is that someone’s offered the wall owner some money and it’s been cut straight out of the wall. It’s now appearing on a US based auction house site with an price estimate starting at $400K. This always creates a bit of controversy and here ares my thoughts about the whole sorry mess.

The Wall Owner. You can’t blame them can you? Someone sprays something on your wall, then someone offers you thousands of pounds for it and also to pay for the wall to be restored. Worse things could happen I guess.

The buyer who paid for it to be removed it from the wall. They’ll probably try and defend their action by saying they were preserving it or some other crap. It’s just about the money of course. That art was put there by the artist for everyone to see not for some chancer to line their pockets. Absolute tossers without question.

The auction house. If they are a decent outfit I can’t see why they’d touch this. There’s no Pest Control Office authentication that it’s a Banksy piece and there’s unlikely to be. Banksy doesn’t spray stuff in the street to line the pockets of speculators.

Of course writing all of the above is pretty pointless, shit happens.  Joe Strummer neatly summed it up when he said “Greed, it ain’t going anywhere. They should have that on a big billboard across Times Square. Think on that. Without people you’re nothing.”.