September 29, 2015
Highbridge art pupils create 'living display' outside Weston's Dismaland

Students and staff from Highbridge's King Alfred School took a trip to Weston last week to create a piece of performance artwork outside Dismaland.

The art pupils are working on a variety of individual projects which explore the theme of journeys and internal and external spaces, and the role of public art in society.

They were hoping to queue and get into Dismaland as a collective but unfortunately there were no tickets available on the door and every effort to purchase tickets or arrange a school trip beforehand failed.

Louise Amato, head of art at King Alfred School, said: "To avoid 'disappointment', the pupils decided to explore the idea of 'displacement' and 'selection' and to extend the work inside Dismaland to a public space."

She added: "The students responded to Banksy’s notion of where art is placed and its consequent impact. In a recent interview, Banksy described his own disappointment as he heard a member of the public commenting on Ben Long’s work, saying ‘Does it do anything?’ simply because it was sited in a ‘bemusement’ park."

"Banksy suggested that a response to this work inside a gallery would have been different. Pupils created ironic responses and parodies of Banksy’s artwork while moving through the town to ‘anarchic acts’. They played with the satire of Banksy’s work by wearing anonymous masks and handing out obscured images of their artwork."

"The public’s response was fantastic and many people thought our procession was part of the Dismaland experience, which created a buzz with students and members of the public and a real life ‘happening’ in the centre of Weston-Super-Mare."

"We realise that not all schools could be accommodated by school trips offered, so rather than the pupils missing out on being a part of the global event, they decided to become part of it instead!"

"Banksy is an iconic local influence to our students, and pupils wanted to create a live response to his concepts in homage, and were hoping that organisers and staff would be enthused, amused and get involved with the ambitious tongue in cheek response of our young, talented contemporary artists."


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