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Famed Graffiti Artist Banksy Pays Powerful Tribute To Front Line Health Care Workers With New Artwork

Famed Graffiti Artist Banksy Pays Powerful Tribute To Front Line Health Care Workers With New Artwork

A new artwork painted by Banksy during lockdown has gone on display in a hospital corridor.

The piece, entitled Game Changer, is now on view to staff and patients on Level C of Southampton General Hospital.

It shows a boy dressed in dungarees playing with a nurse superhero toy, with figures of Batman and Spider-Man in a waste basket on the floor.

The nurse, wearing a cape, face mask, and a white apron featuring a red cross, has her arm raised as if she is flying.

Banksy left a note for hospital workers, saying:

"Thanks for all you're doing. I hope this brightens the place up a bit, even if it's only black and white."

After lockdown measures are lifted, the piece – which is approximately one meter high and one meter wide – will be put on public display.

It will then be auctioned to raise money for NHS charities, a spokeswoman for Banksy confirmed.

Paula Head, chief executive of University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, said:

"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 recognize the outstanding contribution everyone in and with the NHS is making, in unprecedented times, is a huge honor."
"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."

The hospital previously paid tribute to members of staff Mike Brown, 61, and Katy Davis, 38, who both died after testing positive for the virus.

Mr. Brown, a linen porter who had been with the organization for 20 years, died on April 29 after receiving care in the hospital's critical care unit.

He was described as a well-recognized and popular member of the staff who shared his good sense of humor with those around him.

Ms. Davis, who worked in child health, had been unwell for some time before her admission to the hospital, and died on April 21 after testing positive.

She was described by Ms. Head as a "nurse people would aspire to be like."

In April, Banksy took street art to his home, creating a series of rats causing mayhem in his bathroom.

The elusive artist posted a set of five images to Instagram with the caption:

"My wife hates it when I work from home."

His images showed rats – which have featured in many of his previous artworks – knocking the bathroom mirror to one side, hanging on the light cord, swinging on a towel ring and stepping on a tube of toothpaste.

Rats are seen skipping on a roll of toilet paper, appearing to urinate against the toilet seat and using red lipstick to tally up the days in lockdown.

Later in April, a large face mask was placed over one of Banksy's pieces in Bristol – his world-famous The Girl with the Pierced Eardrum.