During the last few weeks, an exciting buzz has been generated on social media regarding Banksy’s latest work on the unused Scott Street bridge in Hull’s city centre. The newest confirmed piece – verified by the elusive street artist via his Instagram account – depicts a boy with his mouth open, raising a makeshift sword, wearing a cape and with an upturned colander on his head. Painted in black and white, the drawing is accompanied by the words ‘Draw the raised bridge!’ in white capital letters.
The majority of the locals seem to be very pleased with the new addition to the bridge, which many of them see as a homage to Hull’s maritime heritage; the Scott Street bridge was once used to allow ships to pass through along the River Hull, but has remained raised since 1994. Hull City Council has even taken action to preserve the work on the bridge after it was vandalised last Sunday evening –and subsequently cleaned by a window cleaner, Jason Fanthorpe, who has now been deemed a local hero for his efforts, and quite rightly so!
As well as the boy on the bridge, last Wednesday another suspected Banksy piece, which appeared overnight, was spotted. This even newer work depicts a young girl next to a dead bird, which several eagle-eyed Banksy fans have noticed holds a striking resemblance to a famous work by the artist in Bristol – the imaginatively named ‘The Girl with the Blue Bird’.
In spite of all the positive comments surrounding Banksy’s work, as well as receiving backing from the city council in order to preserve the pieces, some members of the Hull community have unfortunately been complaining, stating that these paintings are ‘simply graffiti’ and that ‘he should invest in a canvas’. Clearly, these people are unaware that what they are saying is incredibly ignorant, as the clue is in the name of the concept ‘street art’ … it is on the streets. But then again, why should I be surprised? When has any kind of creativity or modern innovation been praised by critics, who would not know what ‘fun’ was even if it him them in the face. More to the point, why do these people care anyway? It is not as if the artwork is offensive or distasteful, which makes their argument of classing the work as vandalism completely irrelevant. Also, I fail to see how an infamous artist’s work on a useless slab of concrete makes it any more of an eyesore – if anything it makes it more of an attraction surely?
In short, Banksy is a living legend who we should be celebrating, not criticising. We are almost 20 years in to the 21st century, so people need to stop poking holes in things which – let’s be honest – make their mundane lives worth living, and just appreciate work like Banksy’s for what it is; art.
(Image courtesy of The Sun)