Since the beginning of the Coronavirus pandemic and the lockdown, we shared with you on this website and on Twitter @SamaGazette several initiatives to support the amazing work done by health workers around the world. And if last month rats were larking around in Banksy’s bathroom, the elusive street artist is now honoring health workers.
The artwork, entitled Game Changer, is paying tribute to National Health Service workers and is currently on display in a corridor near the emergency department at University Hospital Southampton, United Kingdom, a hospital on the front line tackling the pandemic.
The piece is in black and white and is one square metre, it depicts a young boy who has discarded his Spiderman and Batman model figures in favour of an action figure of an NHS nurse wearing an apron bearing the red cross emblem, with her arm outstretched as if in flight. She also wears a cap and a face mask and is striking a Superman-esque pose.
The artist 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.”
Paula Head, CEO of University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, says: “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 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.”
After appearing in Southampton General Hospital until the Autumn, the piece is intended to raise money for NHS charities and will be auctioned at a later date.