A Peek Inside the Galleries and a Playlist of Short Films Showing at Banksy’s Dismaland

Dietrich Wegner / Photo by Christopher Jobson for Colossal

The fun thing about Dismaland is that in addition to pieces by Banksy, you get to immerse yourself in the works of 58 additional artists, and films by 22 directors and animators. It’s impossible to grasp the scope of every last sculpture, painting, and installation, but included here is a small selection of pieces the crowds are buzzing about inside the three large indoor gallery spaces at Dismaland. You can see our additional coverage of the event here, and Evan over at Juxtapoz managed to get an exclusive interview with Banksy before the event.

Lastly, here are links to the 24 short films included in the hour-long Cinema program I helped with.

F*ck That: A Guided Meditation by Jason Headley; Bottle by Kristen Lepore; New York Park by Black Sheep Films; Symmetry by the Mercadantes; Magic Hats by Jake Sumner; Golden Age of Insect Aviation: The Great Grasshoppers by Wayne Unten; Walking on By by Mr. Freeman; Merry-go-round by Vladimír Turner; The Gap by Daniel Sax; 5 mètres 80 by Nicolas Deveaux; I’ve fallen, and I can’t get up! by Dave Fothergill [with audio added]; Danielle by Anthony Cerniello; Anamorphose Temporelle by Adrien M. & Claire B.; Stainless / Shinjuku (excerpt) by Adam Magyar; Collapsing Cooling Towers by Ecotricity; Liberty by Vincent Ullmann [edited with audio added]; The Employment by opusBou; Yawns by the Mercadantes; Rush Hour by Black Sheep Films; Pug Particles by Ramil Valiev; Shell’s priceless Grand Prix moment by Greenpeace Living With Jigsaw by Chris Capell; Teddy Has An Operation by Ze Frank; and Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared #1 by Becky and Joe.

Janus, 2015 (Courtesy of Maskull Lasserre)

Damien Hirst

Jimmy Cauty’s ADP installation / Photograph by Christopher Jobson for Colossal / Click for detail

Embroidered cars by Severija Inčirauskaite-Kriaunevičiene / Photo by Christopher Jobson for Colossal

Anatomical ceramics by Ronit Baranga

Tattooed Porcelain Figures by Jessica Harrison / Top photo by Christopher Jobson for Colossal

Paco Pomet / Photo by Christopher Jobson for Colossal

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Welcome to Dismaland: A First Look at Banksy’s New Art Exhibition Housed Inside a Dystopian Theme Park [Updated 8/22]

Photo by Christopher Jobson for Colossal

Photo by Christopher Jobson for Colossal

WESTON-SUPER-MARE — Inside the walls of a derelict seaside swimming resort in Weston-super-Mare, UK, mysterious construction over the last month—including a dingy looking Disney-like castle and a gargantuan rainbow-colored pinwheel tangled in plastic—suggested something big was afoot. Suspicion and anticipation surrounding the unusual activity attributed to fabled artist and provocateur Banksy has reached a Willy Wonka-esque fervor. Well, if Banksy’s your bag, continue fervoring. If not, there’s more than a few reasons to continue reading.

The spectacle has since been revealed to be a pop-up art exhibition in the form of an apocalyptic theme park titled Dismaland (“The UK’s most disappointing new visitor attraction”) that will be open to the public for five weeks.


Photo by Christopher Jobson for Colossal / CLICK FOR DETAIL

Dismaland legend

Dismaland brochure / Park aerial view courtesy Upfest / Photo of construction

The event has all the hallmark details of a traditional Banksy event from its initial shroud of secrecy to artistic themes of apocalypse, anti-consumerism, and pointed social critiques on celebrity culture, immigration, and law enforcement. However, there’s one major deviation: the bulk of the artwork packed into three main interior galleries was created by dozens of other artists.

So just what’s hidden inside the walls of this derelict seaside resort? A demented assortment of bizarre and beautiful artworks from no less than 58 global artists including Damien Hirst, Jenny Holzer, Jimmy Cauty, Bill Barminski, Caitlin Cherry, Polly Morgan, Josh Keyes, Mike Ross, David Shrigley, Bäst, and Espo. Banksy is also showing 10 artworks of his own.

Dismaland features a cavalcade of artists featured here on Colossal over the last few years including pieces by Escif, Maskull Lasserre, Kate McDowell, Paco Pomet, Dietrich Wegner, Michael Beitz, Brock Davis, Ronit Baranga, and others.

Here’s some text from the event’s official brochure:

Are you looking for an alternative to the soulless sugar-coated banality of the average family day out? Or just somewhere cheaper. Then this is the place for you—a chaotic new world where you can escape from mindless escapism. Instead of a burger stall, we have a museum. In place of a gift shop we have a library, well, we have a gift shop as well.

Bring the whole family to come and enjoy the latest addition to our chronic leisure surplus—a bemusement park. A theme park whose big theme is: theme parks should have bigger themes…

This event contains adult themes, distressing imagery, extended use of strobe lighting, smoke effects and swearing. The following items are strictly prohibited: knives, spraycans, illegal drugs, and lawyers from the Walt Disney corporation.

In addition to art you’ll also find functional a terrifying carousel, a mini golf park, a ferris wheel, and some ludicrously impossible fair games (like ‘topple the anvil with a ping pong ball’ by David Shrigley), roving occupy protests, and a Star Wars stormtrooper that sulks around the exhibition in a state of complete misery. The park is staffed by morose Dismaland employees who are uninterested in being helpful or remotely informative. Entrance to the event requires an uncomfortably awkward NSA-esque security screening, and of course, you exit through the gift shop.

Just a quick fun note, I had the honor of helping curate a small part of Dismaland: a program of 24 short films shown on a massive outdoor cinema that will play on a loop day and night. Films include shorts by Santiago Grasso & Patricio Plaza, Kirsten Lepore, The Mercadantes, Ze Frank, Adrien M. & Claire B., Black Sheep Films, and Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared.

Photo by Christopher Jobson for Colossal

Photo by Christopher Jobson for Colossal

Photo by Christopher Jobson for Colossal

Photo by Christopher Jobson for Colossal

Photo by Christopher Jobson for Colossal

Photo by Christopher Jobson for Colossal

Photo by Christopher Jobson for Colossal

Photo by Christopher Jobson for Colossal

Photo by Christopher Jobson for Colossal

Photo by Christopher Jobson for Colossal


Dismaland is open to the public from August 22 through September 27th, 2015 and information about pre-booked and at-the-gate tickets is available here. There’s also a series of events including a show by Pussy Riot and Massive Attack on September 25th.

I think it goes without saying, but if you have the means, get to the UK.

Update: This post has been updated to include additional imagery, clarification, and other small corrections.

Update 2: We understand that there is difficulty with ticketing at the moment, but unfortunately this publication is not associated with the event directly. Please keep an eye on the official Dismaland website for updates.

Update 3: Added a video by Alex Jefferis.

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A Hypnotic Infinite Model Train Loop that Travels Rapidly in Either Direction

Model train enthusiast James Risner decided to turn several toy locomotive sets into a contemporary kinetic art installation of sorts by creating an infinite loop. The seven linked trains can travel forward or backward at surprisingly quick speed, creating a hypnotic spiral of of motion. I wonder if this could be scaled to a Metropolis II level? (via Laughing Squid)

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Trompe L’Oeil Ceramics That Imitate the Natural Appearance of Decaying Wood


Going Hand In Hand, 8.5″ x 26″ x 15.5″, 2015, (Ceramic, acrylic)

Ceramicist Christopher David White (previously) accurately captures the decay of wood through ceramics, portraying the distinct character of the natural material from the fine wood grain to the light ash coloration at the pieces’ edges. By utilizing a trompe l’oeil technique, White forces the viewer to take a closer look at his work while also investigating the truth hidden in the hyperrealistic sculptures.

Through his ceramic pieces White explores the reality of impermanence, often combining man and nature through treelike limbs and faces. “I seek to expose the beauty that often results from decay while, at the same time, making my viewer question their own perception of the world around them,” explains White. He hopes to highlight the fact that we are not separate from nature, but rather intrinsically connected to it.

White has a BFA in Ceramics from Indiana University and MFA in Craft and Material Studies from Virginia Commonwealth University. White’s work will be included in the exhibition Hyper-realism at the Daejeon Museum of Art in South Korea opening this fall. (via Artist a Day)


Going Hand In Hand, 8.5″ x 26″ x 15.5″, 2015, (Ceramic, acrylic)


Going Hand In Hand, 8.5″ x 26″ x 15.5″, 2015, (Ceramic, acrylic)


A Walk That Is Measured And Slow, 14″ x 14″ 29″, 2015, (Ceramic, acrylic, drywall, iron oxide)

Theis Exhibition

A Walk That Is Measured And Slow, 14″ x 14″ 29″, 2015, (Ceramic, acrylic, drywall, iron oxide)


A Walk That Is Measured And Slow, 14″ x 14″ 29″, 2015, (Ceramic, acrylic, drywall, iron oxide)


Asphyxia, 2013, H: 11″ W: 9″ D: 11″, (Ceramic, acrylic)


Asphyxia, 2013, H: 11″ W: 9″ D: 11″, (Ceramic, acrylic)


Asphyxia, 2013, H: 11″ W: 9″ D: 11″, (Ceramic, acrylic)

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Welder Scott Raabe Places Interlocking Patterns of Molten Metal Between Pipes



For Scott Raabe, his craft lies is in the very fine details—the intersection between pipes and other cuts of metal one might typically glance over without a second thought. It’s in these fine crevices that Raabe welds layered patterns, using his seven years of expertise to create interlocking designs that seem to glow a metallic rainbow sheen after being welded. For the layperson, typical welding this is not.

Raabe started out as a small parts and custom welder for a production company after graduating from Texas State Technical College. In addition to creating unique patterns during his day job as a pipe fitter and welder, he also creates more elaborate commissions including large roses and butterflies on his site Clean Cut Metal Works. You can see more of Raabe’s work on his Instagram. (via Twisted Sifter)






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Meet a Completely Colorblind Man Who Uses Special Tech to ‘Hear’ Colors

Produced as a part of The Connected Series, Hearing Colors, is a short film that explores the life of Neil Harbisson, a man who was born with achromatopsia that leaves 1 in 30,000 completely colorblind. Through an antenna-like object implanted into the back of his head, Harbisson is able to gain a comprehension of the colors around him by hearing distinct sounds.

Harbisson completely embraces the unusual technology and openly refers to himself as a cyborg. “I don’t feel that I am using technology. I don’t feel that I am wearing technology. I feel that I am technology,” Harbisson explains. “I feel no difference between the software and my brain.”

The five minute film, shot in black and white, gives the audience a sense of Harbisson’s artificially created one, letting us peer into how he sees humans, cities, and everyday life.

Hearing Colors was created by filmmaker Greg Brunkalla. You can see more of his films on his Vimeo page here. (via Swissmiss)

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Sponsor // Get 50% Off the Craftsy Online-Video Class ‘Sketchbooks: Drawing the Everyday’

Sketch like a pro, even on the go! Gain the skills you need to become a better artist when you join Paul Heaston in the online Craftsy class, Sketchbooks: Drawing the Everyday, for 50% off today — a special offer for Colossal readers. In these online-video lessons, you’ll learn an inspiring range of ways to use pencil, ink and watercolor to capture the world around you.

In these online-video lessons, you’ll begin by discovering an array of texture-building ink techniques to express light and shadow. Then, infuse your work with color and character using Paul’s pro tips for painting smooth watercolor washes, and combine what you’ve learned to create eye-catching compositions. Whether you want to depict people, architecture or nature, you’ll gain the confidence and creative skills to fill up your sketchbook with pieces you’ll want to show off!

Visit Craftsy.com now to get 50% off lifetime access to the online class, Sketchbooks: Drawing the Everyday, and watch it anytime, anywhere. Offer expires August 24, 2015 at 11:59pm MT.

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