As we enter the premises through a cardboard security control room built by Bill Barminksi ( featured at the 2011 POW show) the security staff ask the most random questions.
After the clearing security, doors open to a sinister derelict place with trash, paper on the floor and mud. It almost looks like a dump. The surrounding staff dressed in pink hi-vis, is looking bored, miserable and haggard, sometimes holding David Shrigley’s ‘I’m an Imbecile’ balloons. When asking questions, they responded whispering messages beyond understanding. Customer service is below standard and not responsive at best.
A large indoor space is dedicated to ‘the finest collection of contemporary art ever assembled in a North Somerset seaside town’, featuring artworks from 50 artists from over 17 countries.
The exhibition starts off with an installation by Caroline McCarthy, whose flowers are growing out of packaging boxes, a smiley animation by James Joyce. Jenny Holzer’s electronic road signs surround Andreas Hykade’s drawing desk animation. Banksy Grim Reaper ‘ Dance of Death’ also makes a come back from BOTI.
Alongside Banksy artworks (covered here), many artworks relate to the seaside and funfair with a certain twist: Damien Hirst’s beach ball is floating above a sea of razor sharp knives, Ben Long giant Ice Cream Cone made of DIY objects, a wooden carved merry-go-round horse sculpture by Maskull Lassere, apocalyptic funfair paintings by Jeff Gillette and seaside paintings by Leigh Mulley.
Cereal boxes become a nightmare with Jani Leinonen. Tree houses, safe refuge for children, are either made from broccoli, through a photograph by Brock Davis, or a mushroom cloud by Dietrich Wegner. Jessica Harrisson‘s tatooed ceramic dolls dance around stitched car installation by Severija Inčirauskaitė-Kriaunevičienė.
Environmental issues and relationships between human and nature are highlighted with porcelain animals from Kate MacDowell, paintings by Paco Pomet, Josh Keyes, or pastel drawings showing global warming from Zaria Forman while Lee Madgwick shows architectural landscapes.
Palestinian artists Sami Musa and Shadi Alzaqzouq are confronting the Israelo-Palestinian conflict. When realizing his work was exhibited alongside Israelian artists like Neta Harari Navon and Amir Shiby, the palestinian artist Shadi Alzaqzouq decided to initiate a protest and hide his artwork from the public.
The last room is dedicated to Lush paintings with miniature figures and an apocalyptic model village by James Cauty.
Entitled ‘The aftermath dislocation principle’, James Cauty installation features a miniature post-apocalyptic world, burned, looted and devoid of all human life apart from a swell of police make up. The construction is a vast 1:87 scale model detailing the desolate, charred aftermath of what appears to have been a crazed riot in London. The only visible people are the 5,000 or so policemen at the scene armed with vans and weapons ready to control and quell. The whole scene is set into motion for the show as ambulance and street lights strobe in the darkness.
View the full set of pics here