As the vast Giant gallery opens in a former department store, the English seaside town hopes to rival Margate, Hastings …and even Santa Monica

Want culture that sails close to the wind? Well, Bournemouth might not have been the obvious place to head for. Until now. This weekend, the English seaside destination more often associated with sandcastles, retirement and the “Costa packet” villas of Sandbanks has become home to some of the most disconcerting and challenging artworks in Britain.

A vast new gallery inside a former department store launched on Saturday with a show featuring the bronze suicide vests of controversial artists Jake and Dinos Chapman and provocative work of other British conceptual and alternative artists, such as Jim Lambie, Banksy, Gavin Turk, Kacey Wong and Jeremy Deller.

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