arts

Banksy is raffling a Dismaland refugee boat for a good cause

Published 3rd December 2018
How much does one boat weigh? Guess correctly and it could be yours.
Credit: Balkis Press/Sipa USA/AP
Banksy is raffling a Dismaland refugee boat for a good cause
Written by Tara John, CNNLondon
Banksy's provocative, and often political, work has made the artist the biggest name in the international street-art scene.
That notoriety has also priced out the average fan from buying anything by the prankster. One buyer was even happy to keep a $1.4 million Banksy painting after it was automatically shredded by its frame the moment it sold at auction.
That changes this festive season. Banksy is raffling off one of his artworks for a minimum donation of £2 ($2.55) for refugee support services.
All you have to do is guess the work's weight before December 22, the anonymous artist wrote on his Instagram page.
The piece is from his temporary amusement park exhibition in 2015, called "Dismaland," which parodied Disneyland in a disused swimming pool complex in the English coastal town of Weston-super-Mare.
The artwork depicts a crowded boat filled with migrants. It was part of a coin-operated sculpture in Dismaland, in which the user could operate a number of boats as they floated in a model of the English Channel.
Banksy's shredded artwork renamed
The sculpture included floating bodies of migrants and the white cliffs of Dover in what was largely interpreted as commentary on the European migrant crisis.
The raffle is being by the Choose Love store, which sells practical gifts for refugees such as tents, nappies and sleeping bags.
"Is it a darkly satirical work of art or a remote control toy in very bad taste? It might be both. It certainly is unique and it could be yours in time for Christmas," Choose Love wrote on its website.
The boat is fully remote controlled and comes with batteries. All guesses need to be done to the nearest gram and the "closest guess wins the boat (the wooden plinth is not included in the weight guessing)," Choose Love said.
The store also provides a clue to the boat's weight. "The boat is constructed from a shop bought fiber glass hull customized with quick-cast resin figures which are foam filled and hand spray painted," it said.
The work will also be on display at the Choose Love store in central London for the whole of December. The winner will be notified by email after a group of students from Kings College London weigh it following the December 22 closing date.