Banksy Strikes Again!FUNKY SIGNS, STAFF, THE UK — By JM Merchant on May 25, 2012 at 01:25
Story by staff writer JM Merchant. Photo Copyright © Joanna Abram.
The first weekend of June sees the celebration of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, 60 years of Elizabeth II on the throne.
Preparations for all sorts of events are taking place across London, the UK and no doubt other parts of the world where Her Royal Highness is still considered monarch. It has even seen our traditional end of May bank holiday shifted back a week and extended by a day.
The upcoming Jubilee, and the approach of the 2012 Olympics also taking place in the UK, has seen a curious mix of patriotism, anti-patriotism and sheer indifference. I myself sit in the indifference camp: Yeah, it’s cool that Queen Elizabeth is just three years and seven months off the record for the longest-reigning monarch (Queen Victoria currently holds the record)—but is that really a good reason to mess with central London for four days straight, at great expense to the tax-payer?
As for the Olympics, well I’d rather be out of London for that, if not the country!
Early last week my little North London town of Wood Green gained itself an extra culture point. We had an overnight visit from the prolific and world-renowned graffiti artist, Banksy.
After years of his work creating debate and consternation around the globe, the artist, film-maker and sculptor known as Banksy remains anonymous. His works have included statements by animals in their zoo enclosures, two male police officers kissing (formerly on the side of a pub in Brighton), subversive pieces hung in major UK and US galleries without the curators’ knowledge and nine images on the West Bank barrier in Israel, including a ladder leading over the wall, and children trying to dig through it.
In the wee dark hours of the morning Banksy produced his latest controversial artwork on the wall of Poundland on the high street of Wood Green. It turns out that Poundland has, in the past, been caught using sweatshop labour to produce their cheap merchandise, potentially even the Jubilee-themed items it’s currently selling.
Apparently our high street is also on the route of the Olympic Torch relay, so the work will have gravitas throughout the remainder of this year.
When the piece was first produced, the Union Jack bunting ran all the way up the wall. No doubt most of it is now up for a lot of money somewhere on the Internet as part of a Banksy original.
Many thanks to whoever placed the perspex protector over this fine piece of work. I’m amazed the locals left it untouched long enough for them to manage it.
JM Merchant (or Jo Abram to most) lives in the North End of London, although she aspires to the West End. An occasionally employed sound engineer and stage manager, most of her time is currently spent reading pirate tales as she works on her first novel. She blogs and posts short stories at Am I A Writer Yet? and tweets as @JMMerchant86.