Banksy's Dismaland: A first peek inside the artist's biggest exhibition to date

Photo by Christopher Jobson for Colossal

If you've been anticipating the launch of Banksy's own 'family theme park unsuitable for small children', then prepare yourselves for the launch of Dismaland: an art exhibition set within a derelict seaside swimming resort in Weston-super-Mare.

Considered to be his largest project to date, Dismaland is a pop-up event in the shape of an apocalyptic theme park, featuring pieces such as a dingy looking version of a fairytale castle, the Little Mermaid as though she were a reflection of herself, and a morbid Cinderella crash scene. You can also expect a terrifying carousel, mini golf, some impossible fairground games, roving occupy protests and a miserable Star Wars stormtrooper who sulks around the entire exhibition.

And it isn't just Banksy on show – with 10 of his own artworks. Visitors to the park can expect to discover a demented collection of weird and wonderful artworks from 58 artists from around the world, including Damien Hirst, Jenny Holzer, Jimmy Cauty, Bill Barminski, Caitlin Cherry, Polly Morgan, Josh Keyes, Mike Ross, David Shrigley, Bäst, and Espo.

Here's what the event's official brochure says:

"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 who’s 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."

As you'd expect from the mysterious street artist, the whole event has been shrouded in secrecy – thus adding to the frenzy and speculation. In fact, the anticipation surrounding the launch of Banksy's pop-up exhibition – known as "the UK's most disappointing new visitor attraction" – has meant demand for tickets are expected to be incredibly high. They're capped at 4,000 a day, and priced at £3 each, and the show is only open for five weeks, starting from Saturday 22nd August until 27th September. There's also a series of events featuring the likes of Pussy Riot and Massive Attack.

Organisers say the show will offer an escape from mindless escapism. But what does it all mean? Banksy elaborated: “I guess you’d say it’s a theme park whose big theme is – theme parks should have bigger themes."

Definitely not one to miss. And make sure you watch the video below, courtesy of Alex Jefferis.

Via Colossal | Photography courtesy of 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

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

Photo by Christopher Jobson for Colossal

Photo by Christopher Jobson for Colossal

Photo by Christopher Jobson for Colossal