Bristol street artist Banksy has created a new work – and put it on display in the corridor of a hospital.
The work, he has called ‘Game Changer’, shows a boy in dungarees playing with a nurse superhero toy, leaving Batman and Spiderman dolls in the basket on the floor.
It’s the first public work of art from the artist during the coronavirus lockdown – he’d previously hinted that he’s been creative in the lockdown by painting monkeys all over the walls of his toilet at home – much to the annoyance of his wife.
But now, this work of art was left at Southampton General Hospital, and he included a note to accompany it, staff said.
“Thanks for all you’re doing,” the note read. “I hope this brightens the place up a bit, even if it’s only black and white.”
The work, which has been hung in the corridor of Level C at the city’s hospital, where staff and patients can see it – was then posted on Banksy’s Instagram page, along with the title: Game Changer.
A spokesperson for Banksy confirmed that after lockdown measures are lifted, the work of art – which is a metre high and a metre wide – will be put on public display, and then will be auctioned to raise money for NHS charities.
Hospital boss Paula Head, the chief executive of University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, said it was a huge honour to get a surprise Banksy.
“Here at Southampton, our hospital family has been directly impacted with the tragic loss of much loved and respected members of staff and friends,” she said.
“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.
“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,” she added.
The hospital previously paid tribute to members of staff Mike Brown, 61, and Katy Davis, 38, who both died after testing positive for coronavirus.
Mr Brown, a linen porter who had been with the organisation for 20 years, died on April 29 after receiving care in the hospital’s critical care unit. He was described as a well-recognised and popular member of staff who shared his good sense of humour with those around him.