New Banksy artwork pays tribute to NHS

Reclusive artist Banksy has unveiled new artwork that pays tribute to front-line medical staff battling coronavirus.

A new artwork by reclusive British artist Banksy has appeared at Southampton General Hospital in the United Kingdom, paying tribute to medics battling the coronavirus pandemic.

The artist called the piece Game Changer and left the artwork at the hospital with a note that said: “Thanks for all you’re doing. I hope this brightens the place up a bit, even if its only black and white.”

The largely monochrome painting is one square metre and was hung in collaboration with the hospital’s managers in a foyer near the emergency department. 

The artwork shows a young boy kneeling by a wastepaper basket in which he has discarded his Spiderman and Batman superhero model figures in favour of a new favourite action hero – an NHS nurse. 

The nurse’s arm is outstretched and pointed forward, like a superhero on a mission. She is wearing a face mask, a nurse’s cape and an apron with the Red Cross emblem, which is the only element of colour in the picture.

“I’ve got a little toddler at home and seeing the little kid playing with the action figures there and with the Batman, Spiderman and then the nurse flying over – it was just amazing,” said Matsikachando Moyo, a charge nurse. “It’s a beautiful portrait of the NHS staff as heroes, it’s lovely, it’s amazing.”

The painting will remain at Southampton General Hospital until the autumn when it will be auctioned to raise money for the NHS.

This report was produced by Al Jazeera NewsFeed’s Mostafa Rachwani.