Hey guys!! A couple of days ago, a piece of original Banksy art work appeared overnight on Scott Street Bridge in Hull and so far the response from the general public has been very mixed. In case you didn’t know, Banksy is an anonymous, British grafitti artist who first popped up in his home town of Bristol during the 1990s. He spray painted trains and walls throughout the city which is well known for its creative street art and graffiti before expanding his graffiti beyond Bristol in the 2000s and sharing it all around the world. Lots of people have tried to unmask this mysterious artist’s identity over the years but to avoid going to prison for vandalizing buildings with their graffiti, its crucial that Banksy stays anonymous. Banksy takes inspiration from a French graffiti artist called Blek le Rat who is fond of using stencils in his art work and has a very visual style. By using stencils in his work, this assists Banksy to complete detailed graffiti pieces in short amounts of time. Banksy has been known to cause some controversy with his art work in the past as he has no trouble conveying political messages in his graffiti and also being rebellious with it. Banksy’s latest work in Hull has divided people’s opinions and caused such a massive controversy and news buzz. So in today’s post, I’m going to share Banksy’s Hull art work with you and explain some of the theories people have of its message as well as some of the public’s opinions.
Banksy’s art work displays a young boy, sporting an upturned colander and an agape mouth, raising a wooden sword with a pencil attached on the end in one hand and carrying a shield in the other. The text ‘Draw the raised bridge!’ finishes off the art work. Banksy seemingly confirmed that the art work was an original after a picture of it was posted on Banksy’s instagram account. But what everyone is really intrigued to know is what the graffiti actually means and this has resulted in quite the controversy with several theories being offered up. Councillor Stephen Brady, the leader of Hull City Council, thinks that it might be an indication that Hull is part and parcel of Yorkshire and that Yorkshire devolution signals that Yorkshire will pull the bridge up and rule on its own. Banksy followers have deduced that it refers to Banksy being for EU and Hull was the city with the highest vote to leave the EU. It means Hull ‘raised the drawbridge’ on immigration and the EU. Another idea from a Twitter user suggests that it links with Hull not allowing entry to King Charles in 1642. Banksy has so far not proposed any explanation to the meaning behind the graffiti so for now we will be kept guessing.
Another question frequently asked, regarding Banksy’s art work, is why do it in Hull and why do it on Scott Street Bridge? Taking an educated guess, I would say that Hull’s exposure during its continued stint as City of Culture and Scott Street Bridge’s exposure in the ‘Open Bridges’ event could be part of the reason why Banksy chose to do the grafitti where he did. However, like the theories behind the meaning of the art work, Banksy has not confirmed anything so any idea could be valid. Whether it was intended or not, Banksy has brought a news buzz to Hull with his art work as he keeps everyone guessing about a lot of details surrounding the art work. One of the other big controversies is whether the art work should be removed or not. On one side, the graffiti could be considered vandalism for defacing Scott Street Bridge and people have argued that other street artists have their graffiti removed and can be prosecuted for it so why is Banksy any different? However, some people strongly consider Banksy’s art work to be so unique and individual that it would be a sin to remove his infamous, original art work and revoke the privilege of having the national art icon’s work on one of Hull’s bridges. Personally, I feel honoured that Banksy has embellished his art work on one of Hull’s bridges and with a perspex cover to protect it, there will be more of the public who can enjoy the art work which I’m very pleased about.
Thank you for reading this post!! What are your thoughts on Banksy’s art work in Hull? I’d love for you to tell me in the comments!! There’ll be another post out soon but until then bye for now.
Amelia Grace a.k.a Amelia in Hull