Photo: Banksy/Instagram

A Banksy Painting Honoring the Work of Nurses Just Appeared at a Hospital in England

News Art + Architecture
by Eben Diskin May 6, 2020

A new piece of Banksy artwork appeared — somewhat mysteriously, as always — outside the Southampton General Hospital in Southampton, England.

The painting, in black and white, depicts a young boy kneeling next to a basket in which he has seemingly discarded Spiderman and Batman action figures. Instead, the boy is playing with an action figure of an NHS nurse, who is striking a Superman-esque pose. The nurse is wearing a facemask, cape, and an apron with the Red Cross symbol where Superman’s shield would otherwise be.

Along with the three-square-foot painting, the artist left a note for hospital workers that read, “Thanks for all you’re doing. Hope this brightens the place up a bit, even if it’s only black and white.”

The hospital will display the painting in a foyer near the emergency department, and then auction it off in the fall to raise money for the National Health Service (NHS).

Hospital staff, of course, were grateful for the unexpected gift.

“Our hospital family has been directly impacted with the tragic loss of much loved and respected members of staff and friends,” said Paula Head, CEO of the University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust. “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.”

She added, “It will no doubt also be a massive boost to morale for everyone who works and is cared for at our hospital.”

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