Banksy’s reputation for subversion and controversy precedes him, which is perhaps why his latest more community conscious piece comes as such a surprise.
The artist, renowned as much for his extensive corpus of graffiti as his elusive nature, has created a piece entitled Game Changer, which has been framed in a corridor of Southampton general hospital.
The piece shows a child holding a nurse doll, complete with cape and PPE, while a toy Batman and Spiderman are cast aside in a bin in the background. Banksy left the piece with a note that read: “Thanks for all you’re doing. I hope this brightens the place up a bit, even if it’s only black and white.”
His latest work, which is approximately one metre square in size, will be put on display for the public once lockdown measures are lifted. A spokesperson for the artist has confirmed that it will be auctioned to raise money for NHS charities in due course.
The chief executive of University Hospital Southampton NHS foundation trust, Paula Head, said of the piece: “Here at Southampton, our hospital family has been directly impacted with the tragic loss of much loved and respected members of staff and friends.
“The fact that Banksy has chosen us to recognise the outstanding contribution everyone in and with the NHS is making, in unprecedented times, is a huge honour.
“It will be really valued by everyone in the hospital as people get a moment in their busy lives to pause, reflect and appreciate this piece of art. It will no doubt also be a massive boost to morale for everyone who works and is cared for at our hospital.”