Tag Archives: Banksy

Banksy "Cut and Run" poster image stencil of running mouse with stanley knife

Banksy Exhibition Cut and Run

The ground floor of the Gallery of Modern Art in Glasgow was been taken over by a huge retrospective of some of Banksy’s greatest hits, more than 75 pieces in total.  Unfortunately health reasons meant I could not make the exhibition until the last week but here for the benefit of all who haven’t had the chance to go, the exhibition closed 28th August, here are some reflections on a characteristically sensational Banksy exhibition.

Banksy Cut and Run exhibition Gallery Of Modern Art Glasgow

Gallery Of Modern Art, Glasgow

Banksy sprung the exhibition on the unsuspecting public with zero notice, a modus operandi he employed for his 2009 “Banksy v. Bristol Museum and gallery” show.    His shows always achieve capacity attendance with long waiting lines so no advance notice is required and the marketing budget must be next to zero.

Banksy stencil of two boys installing a cone at Cut and Run exhibition Gallery Of Modern Art Glasgow

Cone placement

A few years ago Banksy’s former manager Steve Lazarides put on a show of Banksy prints at Sotheby’s in London and since then a huge industry of un-authorised mediocre travelling shows of Banksy’s art have sprung up.  I mean – re-imagined 3D sculptures derived from a Banksy image on paper what kind of uninspired diminished art trinket is that?  This has pissed Banksy off, as evidenced by his Q&As which were basically a warning not to go to those shows.  Cut and Run is Banksy’s official retrospective based on his street art rather than his indoor commercial stuff and it wipes the wall with those rip off copycats.

Banksy Website Product Recall screengrab

Fake exhibitions – Banksy.co.uk website 2019 onwards

The majority of the art pieces comprise battle scarred stencils imaginatively staged to recreate familiar Banksy images going right back to his earliest stencil pieces.  Converting stencils into viable exhibition worthy pieces of art has required some augmentation.  Stencils of the black layer of images have had a light coat of white or grey to define the black and outline the rest of the image.  Check the dual aura of white and black around the edge of the stencil image illustrating the cover of the show book, a good example.

Banksy "Cut and Run" book cover with early stencil of running policemen

Cut and Run Banksy book cover

There are also stencilled artworks as opposed to stencils turned into artworks and almost every installation or piece of art is accompanied by pithy text in the classic Banksy vein.

If you are find that this review is a bit light on photos of art from the exhibition you are right.   Photography was not allowed in the exhibition.  A motley crew of gallery attendants were on hand to take polaroid snaps using a weak built-in camera flash, consequently we have here a selection of dim photos, dull photos and some photos from the distant past.  Cheers Banksy.

Banksy Cut and Run visitor pose for polaroid in Banksy phone booth with GCHQ spies listening

Spy Booth v innocent member of the public

The exhibition layout is essentially two meandering passages connected by a larger hall in the middle and at the end you exit through the gift shop (of course) which then spits you out in a passage of thousands of multi coloured audience generated tags.   The show starts with a reconstruction of part of Banksy’s studio, seemingly a stencil cutting station.  The final installation is a reconstruction of Banksy’s bedroom.

Banksy explanation of why he still does street art at Cut and Run exhibition Gallery Of Modern Art Glasgow August 2023

Why I Still Do This

Banksy bedroom mock up at Cut and Run exhibition Gallery Of Modern Art Glasgow August 2023

Wherever he lays his hat

Main Hall view at Banksy Cut and Run exhibition Gallery Of Modern Art Glasgow

Large Hall (repo’d crayon house to left) – viewed from bedroom window

If you expect vandal paraphernalia and anarchist regalia then the actual bedroom may surprise you with its conventionality.  Lots of militaria, budget toiletries and the Prodigy’s Jilted Generation double LP displaying its inner sleeve kill-the-bill rave fantasy illustration by Les Edwards.  As that album was released in 1994 this would suggest either Banksy is younger than we imagined, 1974 is often cited as a possible year of birth, or the bedroom is that of someone on the cusp of their 20s whose décor hadn’t kept step with their emergence into young adulthood.

Banksy Bedroom mock up detail at Cut and Run exhibition Gallery Of Modern Art Glasgow

Prodigy LP, Castle Morton Moment

The exhibition is way more than the widely reported stencil retrospective, a couple of pieces had not been seen before in public and both have interesting stories.  One quirky installation comprises a collection of oil paintings by a painter named in the show as Pete Brown.  In February this year Banksy created a piece known as Valentine Day Mascara in the seaside town Margate.  There was an artist on hand painting the scene in oil on board and making a nice job of it.  From that hand come 5 oil paintings displayed with Banksy’s explanation that he believes the art in the street is as much about the pageant that develops around it as it is the street art he created.

Outdoor en plein air painter Pete Brown paints Banksy Valentines Day Mascara at Margate 2023

“Valentine’s Day Mascara” scene feat Pete Brown, Margate, Valentine’s Day 2023

If Pete Brown had turned out to be an untraceable pseudonym that would have been bog standard Banksy subterfuge but Peter Brown aka “Pete The Street” is a proper proper artist with an impressive cv and a website that makes no reference to Banksy, a sure fire indicator of someone who has worked for Banksy! https://www.peterbrownneac.com/biography/

Main hall view at Banksy Cut and Run exhibition Gallery Of Modern Art Glasgow

Margate paintings viewed through one-way window from Banksy bedroom

Another new work, or at least one being seen in “real life” for the first time, depicts a rat and a couple of spray cans which previously appeared on the film set in Bristol for the TV series The Outlaws.  The press had a field day at the time with the “controversial” buff by Christopher Walken but this was no disturbed actor tantrum, its painting over was scripted and Banksy contributed the image in celebration of a programme made in his sometime home town.  Curiously this painting is not reproduced in the book “Cut and Run” that goes with the show.

Banksy Cut and Run visitors pose for polaroid in front of Banksy arcade game grab

Arcade game grab

On the subject of books, Banksy has been writing books since early in his career, “Banging Your Head Against A Brick Wall” was published in 2001 and the text notes accompanying the art in Cut and Run are as important as part of the art as the stencil and imagery.  In some instances the imagery seems to be there just to support the delivery of a well written, witty, pithy and often self-deprecating story.   The display of the storyboard, a painting and an animation cell from Banksy’s couch sequence opening to The Simpsons in 2010 is a perfect example, setting up to his brilliant “racist hat crime” punchline.

Banksy animation storyboard from Simpsons couch sequence 2011

SImpsons Storyboard, Banksy website, 2011

Banksy animation frame from Simpsons couch sequence 2011

Simpsons animator sweatshop

It seems obligatory to describe this show as Banksy’s first solo exhibition for 14 years.   This is a bit puzzling as it required that we forget the 2019 “Gross Domestic Product” show in Croydon.

The stencil used to create “Basquiat Stop and Search”, one of a pair of tributes put up below London’s Barbican Centre on the eve of the opening of the 2017 Basquiat retrospective had a spectacular amount of additional painting to recreate the whole of the original image.  The image on the street is possibly the most painterly illegal Banksy street art of them all and merited this colourful exhibition treatment.

Banksy painted tribute to Basquiat at Barbican 2017 called Basquiat stop and search

“Basquiat Stop and Search”, Barbican, 2017

Content wise this show contains a lot of Banksy humour, huge amounts of the trademark anti authoritarian humour, lots of great anecdotes told with typical Banksy impish wit and as you would expect, plenty of politics.   Banksy the thrower of light onto political murk highlights so many issues and causes including Arab-Israeli tensions, the environment, anti-war protest, racism, child exploitation, the refugee crisis, Ukraine, consumerism, Brexit and gentrification.

Banksy Cut and Run visitor pose for polaroid in front of Banksy No Ball Games stencil

No Ball Games

Banksy’s mystery is in no way diminished by this show, the exhibition is personality not persona, after the show no one is any none the wiser about Banksy’s identity and you already knew Banksy is the coolest artist in town

Exit Through The Gift Shop painting by Banksy Cut and Run exhibition Gallery Of Modern Art Glasgow

Exit Through The Gift Shop

In revealing a bit more of how the magician does his tricks Cut and Run has echoes of what Banksy achieved with the 2008 Cans Festival group show which had a public spray area where anyone and everyone turn up with a stencil and release their inner outdoor artist.  This exhibition shows the comparative simplicity of Banksy’s craft, we see the tools, the stencils and the end results.  The real genius however lies in the inspiration and the execution and both on the streets and in delivering this show Banksy has no peers.

Banksy stencil saying Designated Graffiti Area on a tagged wall at Cut and Run exhibition Gallery Of Modern Art Glasgow

Designated Graffiti Area

Banksy Cut and Run visitors pose for polaroid in front of Banksy meat truck


For a comprehensive listing of the items exhibited in “Cut and Run” check out my other blog post here.

Banksy “Cut and Run”

Gallery Of Modern Art, Glasgow

18th June – 28th August 2023

All Photos: Dave Stuart except where otherwise credited

Detail of art by street artist Faile and Shepard Fairey in Saatchi Gallery exhibition "Beyond The Streets"

Beyond The Streets Exclusive Intervew

Beyond The Streets, a huge public exhibition dedicated to the history of graffiti, street art and related cultures related has arrived in London after previously showing in New York and LA.

The exhibition is epic in scale and wide ranging in content and features art and installations from many household names from the urban art realm.   Yesterday, the day before the official opening to the public, we manage to put together a taster video and we grabbed an exclusive moment with the curator Roger Gastman, if you have seen Banksy’s Exit Through The gift Shop he was the Zvengali saviour parachuted in by Banksy to wave his “make-shit-happen” wand over the chaos of Mr Brainwash’s LA debut show.

One burning question is why no Banksy The elephant is not in the room.  Yet.  We have a sneaky feeling that these guys could still have something up their sleeve.

Our full review will follow eventually, there’s no rush!

Public mingle in front of artist Toby Mott's display of anarchist posters at Beyond The Streets exhibition at Saatchi Gallery London

Beyond The Streets

“Beyond The Streets”

Feb 17th – May 9th

Saatchi Gallery, Duke Of Yorks HQ, King’s Road, London SW3 4RY



Banksy stencil in Birmingham of reindeers pulling a bench a homeless man slept on

Birmingham Street Art – not just Banksy

“It’s A Brum Ting” has been the signature tune of the past fortnight as Birmingham hosted the Commonwealth Games.  So what is it about Birmingham, why is it so great?  Armed with a cheap cheap day return rail ticket I set out several weeks back to discover if Birmingham Street Art is what Goldie, Trevor Francis and Banksy (might have) appreciated about the UK’s “Second City” ™.

Justin Sola, Void One & Mose78

The art started right outside the train station, FokaWolf was well represented as was Brummy staple Tempo, of whom more later.

paste up street art in Birmingham by Fokawolf


Sticker in central Birmingham of a cartoon face with sharp teeth by Tempo 33

Tempo 33

Gent 48 is a giant of Birmingham’s street art scene so perhaps it was either fitting, or just inevitable, that the first mural spotted was by Gent48, painted in January this year when Birmingham was sorting out the torch relay for the opening of the Commonwealth Games.  The mural features Haseebah Abdullah, England’s first hijab-wearing boxing coach and Salma Bi, who founded the first all Asian women’s cricket team.

Street Art mural in Birmingham by Gent 48 depicting Haseebah Abdullah and Salma Bi

Gent 48

The one flag planted in my vague, unplanned plan was to locate Birmingham’s 2019 Banksy.  Tick the box, complete the set.  The route took me through a cluster of architecturally fascinating buildings.  London is quite staid by comparison, so many planning luddites have ensured our post war rebuilding  lacks the surprise, flair and modernism a waddle around the centre of Birmingham will reveal.   The interior of the Birmingham Library is so worth exploring for its design as well as its exhibition content.

Exterior view of Birmingham New Street train station designed by Alejandro Zaera-Polo

Birmingham New Street by Alejandro Zaera-Polo

Birmingham Library

Birmingham Library interior

The route to the Banksy had already been mapped out by the Charm Bracelet trail by Mick Thacker and Mark Renn.

Birmingham Jewellery Quarter Charm Bracelet pavement plaque trail, Mick Thacker and Mark Renn

Birmingham Jewellery Quarter pavement plaque trail, Mick Thacker and Mark Renn

What’s to say about the Banksy on Vyse Street.  Great placement, great use of the street furniture and a poignancy likely to rise as rampant inflation and fuel poverty drives up homelessness next winter.  It is well preserved and thankfully no gallerist twat has laid his grubby “Preserving street art for private collectors” hands on it.  So far.  It’s a pig to photograph clearly and parts of its execution are a tad indifferent.

Banksy confirmed this stencil as genuine with a website message saying “God bless Birmingham. In the 20 minutes we filmed Ryan on this bench passers-by gave him a hot drink, two chocolate bars and a lighter – without him ever asking for anything.”

Arriving in Birmingham I expected graffiti; thanks to an awareness of its recent history of street art festivals I expected murals; I wasn’t fully prepared for the brilliant explosion of sticker art.  Every lamppost, traffic light, street sign and pole had been claimed by sticker art, one of my favourites being the huge variety of brace faces by Tempo who we used to see fairly frequently in London 10 or so years ago.

Montage of Tempo 33 stickers seen in Birmingham

Tempo 33

When Tempo was up in London our main delight was his large circular non permissioned paste-ups so finding a number of larger spraypainted murals was a pleasure.

spray painted graffiti mural of a circular face with huge mouth of spikey teeth with braces by street artist Tempo 33

Tempo 33

Brace Face spraypainted by Tempo 33 in Birmingham

Tempo 33

Brace Face spraypainted by Tempo 33 in Birmingham

Tempo 33

Other sticker artists included Wreck1, Lisk Bot, Never A Servant, the legend Fokawolf and a very impressive scattering of the playful and rare (to me at least) street art of Pahnl.

Sticker artists Werck1 and Lisk Bot on a traffic sign in Birmingham

Werck1, Lisk Bot

Sticker artist NVRASIR on a lamppost in Birmingham


Sticker artists Fokawolf and "Titty"on a lamppost in Birmingham

Fokawolf & “Titty”

street art pictographic installation by Pahnl

Pahnl pictogram installation

sign subversion by street artist Pahnl in Birmingham

Pahnl sign subversion

Birmingham embraces adventurous and exciting architecture but the ancient brick and steam midlands’ post-industrial relics co-exist alongside the modern.  Graff was popping up in some breathtaking spots and with more canals than Venice (Brummies say), canal-side vistas in particular are worth hunting out.

Post industrial heritage shot with The Birmingham & Fazeley Canal goes through a brick lined arch in Birmingham

Birmingham & Fazeley Canal

River Rea graff

Post industrial heritage shot with The Birmingham & Fazeley Canal in Birmingham

Farmers Bridge Locks

Paste-up action in the vicinity was fairly limited, the paste-up hall of fame hunt will have to wait till the next visit.

Void One, Foka Wolf

The urban huddle of car parks, streets and old factories in Digbeth just to the east of the city centre forms an amazing gallery.  It is dominated by amazing murals, some appear to be permission murals liable to change, some look like relics of street art festivals with tags acknowledging “City of Colours” (2014 – 16) and “HighViz Festival” (2019-21) as well as our perpetual favourite – get up and get away with it.

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Chance plays a key role in street art spotting in a city you haven’t explored before.  There is the chance of what artists are “up” at that moment, your experience, your sample will possibly be completely different to anyone else before or after.  Also, what route do you take across the urban spider web of streets, alleys and paths?  From A, B may be sought by going right then left; or you can turn left then go right, that’s two different street art galleries right there.  While slaloming through the mainly industrial streets from Digbeth back to the train station, a glance over the shoulder into an open door revealed a delicious collection of political and tribute murals inside a fortuitously empty car park.

Void One memorial tribute mural to Arthur Labinjo-Hughes, Astro (UB40) and Captain Tom in a Birmingham car park

Void One memorial tribute mural to Arthur Labinjo-Hughes, Astro (UB40) and Captain Tom

Street Art mural in a Birmingham car park featuring Donald Trump by street artist Gent 48

Donald Trump by Gent 48, Character and graff by Ziner

Two faced Jeremy Hunt as NHS Joker mural in a Birmingham car park by street artist Void One

NHS Joker by Void One

portraits of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King in a mural in a Birmingham car park by street artist Title

Malcolm X and Martin Luther King by Title

Street Art mural in a Birmingham car park featuring Theresa May and a screaming policeman by street artist Title

Theresa May by Title

A good street art city should house a collection which is too vast for you to cover in your limited time, especially on a one day visit.   It should also have change, renewal, vibrant health and life and Birmingham’s street art scene has both of these.  It is hard to put it better than Birmingham’s own Prince Of Darkness when Black Sabbath reunited last Sunday (Paranoid at 1 min exactly) for a spine tingling surprise set (iplayer, some areas, go to 2 hours exactly, next 3 months) at the Commonwealth Games closing ceremony:

“You are the best…..Birmingham forEVVVAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH”

Selected Links:

Gent 48 instagram

Ziner instagram

Tempo 33 instagram

Banksy website  (Please tell Banksy you found him through Shoreditch Street Art Tours)

All Photos Dave Stuart

52 Birmingham street art photos

Banksy Antonelli and Marziani Book Review

Banksy, the best known living artist, is an enigma with a perverse attitude to celebrity status and personal information.  In an age where non-entities share every plate of food, change of eyeshadow and ill-advised swimwear hot, this is this is a major anomaly.

Anonymity and secrecy fuels curiosity so there have been many books about Banksy, though none actually by him since “Wall and Piece” in 2005.  The economically titled “Banksy”, Stefano Antonelli & Gianluca Marziani, Rizzoli International Publications, 2022, unauthorised, collects together a significant amount of material addressing Banksy the street artist, the art world darling, the enfant terrible and Banksy the “polite vandal”.

Liberally illustrated with large photos, Banksy’s indoor gallery art and his outdoor street art get pretty much equal billing.

Having two authors lends two distinct dimensions to the book.  A significant portion of the book is basically chronological, with photographs illustrating Banksy activity from very early freehand collaborations in Bristol right up to screengrabs of the two videos released by Banksy during lockdown.

The years 2014 and 2016 are omitted so curiously no references to Banksy’s only known signed confession (Mobile Lovers) and his use of a QR code in 2016 to link the Gassed Cosette street image opposite London’s French Embassy to his underlying humanitarian political point.

The second and perhaps more interesting aspect is the philosophical, art history and political analysis.  These aspects are covered with far superior writing quality, though I am perhaps too easily impressed when I have to google the words.  The book makes a strong case for Banksy as a serious and art-world credible artist, something art critics are often inclined to deny.

The one thing no one wants revealed is thankfully not addressed in any great depth.  The authors simply acknowledge the oft-repeated un-confirmed guess from the Telegraph years ago, seemingly on the basis that repetition by enough other people provides validation.  The car park attendant in Weston Super Mare must be gutted.

Some cultural nuances are strangely overlooked such as in the dissection of the title of Banksy’s last book, there are cross references to Tolstoy’s “war and peace” and a tricky allusion to a wall as a source of social media output (me neither) but Banksy’s key joke that to a graffiti writer, a “piece” is a complex multi-colour graffito is not mentioned at all.

There is an excellent Banksy mind-map placing Banksy in context between street art and graffiti with a stream of influences and effects.  Many similar graphics exist such as Cedar Lewisohn’s hand scribbled 2008 street art mind map, they are endlessly fascinating and never easy to agree 100% with, this is the first I have seen regarding Banksy and the authors have done a great job with it.

The book would have benefited from more careful fact checking with errors in dates slipping through and even one artwork which wasn’t by Banksy but is not attributed to anyone else.

There is always room for another Banksy book in the market.  The passage of time provides perspective on Banksy’s earlier career and as long as he remains active there is scope for updating on his latest twists and subversions of the act of creating and disseminating art.  Its range of photographs earns it its position on the bookshelf of the Banksy curious and the in-depth analysis will provide food for thought for the die-hard fan base.

Banksy ©Stefano Antonelli and Gianluca Marziani, Rizzoli Electa, 2022

Hardcover / 10.25” x 11.25” / 240 pages / 194 colour illustrations

£29.95 / ISBN: 978-0-8478-7276-3

Rizzoli Electa / Release date: June 28 2022

Page extracts courtesy the publisher; see book for photograph copyright statements

Tour guide Dave in front of Banksy stencil of an arcade game claw at Gorleston Beach with added teddy bears by local street artist EMO

Street Art Highlights in August

August has been a month of surprises – it stayed dry – and as Banksy trumps everything in the street art world, this month’s review starts with a flashback to an exciting daytrip to East Anglia to witness Banksy’s Spraycation street art fest.  Banksy put up 10 new street art pieces, two were never found by members of the public as they were swiftly removed by council workers but the 8 we did find were thankfully on the whole in superb condition.  Sorry to spoil the photo of the Banksy piece at the top of this article.

Banksy stencil of a rat at a Lowestoft beach who is sipping a cocktail made from a pipe discharge

Banksy rat chills out at Lowestoft, August 2021

Seeing one new Banksy street art piece is a “Hold the front page” moment, EIGHT new Banksys put that spin to the coast spin right up among the most exciting art days I have ever enjoyed, that Banksy goodness is reviewed HERE.

Banksy street art on a model home installed without permission at Merrivale Model Village

Banksy mini fire extinguisher graff on model village stable, Aug 2021

We also produced a guide to the locations which earned great feedback.

“Thanks for the directions on your website, they were the first proper ones we found and with 2 kids in tow we always appreciate not having to cart round for hours trying to find somewhere!”

News of the first ever private daytrip to space prompted street artist ODDO to speculate that Jeff Besos was boldy going forth in search of new tax avoidance strategies.

Cartoon street art showing Jezz Besos as an astronaut by street artist Oddo in Shoreditch

Jezz Bezos cartoon by Oddo

Vez, leading light of the “spoonerists” movement really got the full flower power thing going, dig that groovy dress daddio.

paste up street art in Shoreditch by Vez street artist

Spoons by Vez

We believe you can’t beat a decent street art collaboration so it a great to see two of our faves Face The Strange and Smiler getting something truly surreal up.

paste up street art collaboration in Shoreditch featuring street artists Face The Strange and Smiler

Face The Strange and Smiler collaboration

Butterflyman, the artist formerly known as Sell Out, had a prolific month with paper butterflies and oil pastels. He provided a police escort for The Postman’s Debbie Harry and we also loved the paper butterflies escaping the maw of Orrible’s shark.  Sell Out provides top quality street art “augmentations”, torn between the two and unable to choose we thought ok, let’s include both pics!  There is a crazy amount of great art in the photo of Debbie Harry’s police protection squad, you should be able to pick out 4 expressionist policemen (the 5th face isn’t a policeman) and 1 police dog!

layers of paste up street art in Shoreditch with Sell Out adding to Debbie Harry by The Postman's Art

Debbie Harry by The Postman rescued by Butterflyman’s policemen

Shark paste up by street artist Orrible augmented by Sell Out's paper butterflies stuck on with blutack

Orrible, augmented by Butterflyman752, also featuring Subdude

Jace has been out putting some of his great faces in more small places, he clearly loves the spot next to Stik’s Brick Lane couple which is where you will find Lola.

Street Art sculpture of a face in relief depicting Lola from german Film Run Lola Run

Lola by Jace

Tom from Tom and Jerry featured in Fat Cap Spray‘s art output this month, this shone neon bright but ever so brief, lasting less than a week!

Tom from Tom and Jerry painted in neon purple by street artist Fat Cap Sprays on Shoreditch streets

Tom by Fat Cap Sprays

Perspicere had a show at BSMT Space which to our huge regret we failed to check out, thankfully we did find this gorgeous example of his novel string art on a doorway of an empty and heavily graffitied office block in Shoreditch.

String street art face portrait by Perspicere

String Art by Perspicere

Just sneaking in at the end of the month is this beautiful painting in a very soft palette by Enigma.

Attractive blonde walks past street art shadow bunny by street artist Enigma in Shoreditch

Shadow hands by Enigma

Among the large amount of brilliant graffiti spotted this month a real jaw dropper was the piece by legend Vibes RT, check out the glitchy cloud detail.

Brilliant graffiti in Shoreditch by Vibes RT

Vibes RT graff

Detail of brilliant graffiti in Shoreditch by Vibes RT

Vibes RT graff detail

Allen Gardens is a location frequently explored as there is always fresh art and graffiti there, just this weekend this pair of pieces by Reves One and Sidok both featuring “split screen” letter design took my breath away.

Brilliant Shoreditch Graffiti pieces by Reves One and Sidok

Reves One and Sidok

Bonzai’s liquid mercury lettering is truly an eyeopener for guests whenever we come across it on the Shoreditch Street Art Tour.

Graffiti writing that looks like liquid mercury by artist Bonzai

Quicksilver Bonzai

As travel becomes more and more a reality we are looking forward to seeing an increased number of international artists beautifying Shoreditch’s walls and more tour guests from overseas would be nice as well!  Book HERE for the best street art tour and perhaps you will get to admire the candidates for September highlights in the flesh.

Links to all artists are incorporated in the text.

All photos: Shoreditch Street Art Tour guide Dave Stuart






Banksy Spraycation Street Art Locations Guide

The Great Banksy Spraycation resulted in what we now know were originally 10 new street art pieces in East Anglia. Early last week I headed off in a fever of excitement to explore the locations, the resulting photos and insights can be seen HERE.

A couple of the artworks proved rather tricky to find, one we had the wrong street intersection and for another, the description “beach” didn’t quite narrow things down enough.  For your ease and convenience, here is my guide to the locations of these Banksys.  In some instances, the location would be more accurately described as “site of former Banksy”, at the time of writing 2 have already met the buff and can no longer be seen and one has been badly damaged, though possibly not beyond repair.

The order they are presented in here is intended to allow a Banksy hunter to hit a number that are within relatively easy reach of eachother quite quickly, the last thing you want is to spend too much time on the far off remote one and find you run out of time to spend enough time enjoying the remaining pieces.

We’re All In The Same Boat

Woman photographs Street Art stencil by Banksy in Lowestoft of children in a boat and message We're all in the same boat

We’re All In The Same Boat says Banksy

Nicholas Everitt Park, on a bridge. Look for the path closest to the town side of the park that intersects the stream up the middle of the park.

Map (opens in new tab)

Greedy Seagull

Banksy street art stencil in Lowestoft showing seagull snatching chips from a packet which is actually insulation in a skip

Chip snatching Seagull, Banksy 2021

Lowestoft, intersection of Denmark Road and Katwijk Road

Map (opens in new tab)

Under The Paving Stones!

A seagull and people look at Banksy street art in Lowestoft

Under The Paving Stones – Banksy!

Intersection of London Road North and Regent Road

Map (opens in new tab)

Cocktail Rat

Banksy stencil of a rat at a Lowestoft beach who is sipping a cocktail made from a pipe discharge with beach goers nearby

Banksy Rat sipping a cocktail at a Lowestoft Beach 2021

Lowestoft, Links Road.  Look for North Beach Car Park

Map (opens in new tab)

Arcade Grab Game

Banksy Arcade claw machine with added teddy bears by local artist

Banksy arcade game grabber claw, teddy bears added by local artist

Gorleston Beach, not far from the pier end of the beach, at the end of Lower Esplanade

Map (opens in new tab)

Go Big Or Go Home – The Merrivale Model Village Stable.

Banksy street art on a model home installed without permission at Merrivale Model Village

Go Big Or Go Home

Placed by Banksy at Merrivale Model Village, from time to time the Merrivale management remove the model from public view to protect it and the rest of their property.  They have now placed a padlocked plastic box over it, but it is not clear at the time of writing if it is on display throughout opening hours.   Check their Facebook page for possible viewing updates.

Merrivale Model Village, Marine Parade, Great Yarmouth NR30 3JG

Map (opens in new tab)

Bus Stop Dancers

Banksy stencil of two dancers and an accordian player placed on top of a bus shelter in Great Yarmouth

Bus interrupts Banksy Bus Stop Dancers

On the corner of Admiralty Road and Barracks Road, Great Yarmouth

Don’t get caught parking on the bus stop!

Map (opens in new tab)

Luxury Rentals Only

Banksy Stencil of a Landlord crab showing placard reading "Luxury Rentals Only" to homeless crabs at Cromer Beach

Luxury Rentals Only – Banksy

Cromer Beach Huts

Level with the very last of the colourful beach huts is a sea wall running into the sea, “Luxury Rentals Only” is on the side of the wall that faces away from Cromer.

We walked from Cromer Esplanade along the beach front.  Above the cliff are sea view private properties and there does not appear to be public access to the beach from Cliff Drive above the beach, report here if you find any!  From the centre of Cromer it is about a 20 minute walk, as we approached the end of the huts we had convinced ourselves it must have gone.  Despair not, you have to go past the sea wall and look back.

Map (opens in new tab)

Since we put this guide together, we have received improved directions from an intrepid explorer who used our guide:

“We visited the Cromer Banksy using the grid reference you provided on the website. The sat nav took us to a road called The Warren where we parked. If you go to the end (it’s a dead end) there is an alleyway to the left. Follow that and you come to a small green. There is a signpost for “National Trail” which leads to steps down to the beach. Turn right and the Banksy is just after the last beach hut. It’s probably a five minute walk.”  26 Aug 2021

The two new Banksy artworks that have already completely gone at the time of writing are:

Kids in Rubber Dinghy Peril

Banksy stencil of children in peril in a dinghy

Banksy Dinghy – photo Banksy.co.uk

Paddling pool, Gorleston Beach.  This was right opposite the Arcade Grab game artwork, its absence was noted in a photo included in our collection of insights published a few days ago.

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Ice cream Cone Statue

Kings Lynn Statue with Banksy cone – photo Banksy.co.uk

Junction of London Road and Guanock Place, Kings Lynn

The interesting news is that the council have the ice cream cone in their possession and have spoken to the press about the possibility that it might be reinstated.

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This was one of the most exciting days I have ever had pursuing my love of and obsession with street art.   I hope you find this guide useful, all in a day’s work for a specialist street art tour guide!


Banksy Street Art Staycation In East Anglia – our insights and lots of different photos

Banksy instagram “The Great British Spraycation”

Banksy Website

Merrivale Model Village Website

All photos: Dave Stuart except where stated

Banksy street art stencil in Lowestoft showing seagull snatching chips from a packet which is actually insulation in a skip

Banksy Street Art Staycation In East Anglia

East Anglia has in the past week or so became home to a spectacular trove of Banksy street art.  Banksy created a grand total of 10 new pieces of street art and to put this in context, there were only 5 outdoor Banksy artworks at his own Dismaland group show in 2015!

Street Art stencil by Banksy in Lowestoft of children in a boat and message We're all in the same boat

We’re All In The Same Boat by Banksy

With my son for company as navigator (who needs sat nav when you have a boy armed with a smartphone and supersized data allowance) I headed off last Tuesday to explore the Fens and surrounds hunting down the biggest collection of Banksy seen since New York, October 2013.

UPDATE – I have written a guide to the location of each of these Banksys, that has different photos to this appreciation of the art and you can view the guide by clicking HERE (after you have read this post!)

The Norfolk Broads is an idyllic network of creeks and lakes which on the day we visited was looking stunning with boats gently sailing here, there and everywhere in glorious sunshine and perfect breezes.  Nicholas Everitt Park sits at the inlet to Oulton Broad, a classic British daytrip destination full of playgrounds, bowling, tennis and ice cream vendors.  It does its best to turn away from the sour, grubby creek that runs down its spine but Banksy hasn’t.  “We’re all in the same boat”  has three children in a distressed Swallows and Amazons tableau, a skipper and second in command upfront scan the horizon while, at the back a third child bails their leaking tub.  The two children upfront have paper admiral’s hats suiting their privilege, the child dealing with the emergency in the bilges wears a worker’s beaney. Originally there was a decaying boat hull but that corrugated sheet of iron was hauled away as it was constricting the water course.

Street Art stencil by Banksy in Lowestoft of children in a boat and message We're all in the same boat

“We’re all in it together” our leaders promised, that was until Boris decided to throw out all the pandemic restrictions and impose on us a doctrine of “personal responsibility” despite a 3rd wave delta variant surge.  Banksy’s smartly dressed captain navigates blind to signs of imminent disaster while someone else, representing the NHS perhaps, heroically struggles to stop the ship sinking.  Coming the week after Boris decided that he didn’t have to isolate despite an office staffer who flew on a plane with him testing positive, Banksy mocks our political leaders’ inclination to shamelessly pick and choose which of the rules they can ignore.

Street Art stencil by Banksy in Lowestoft of children in a boat and message We're all in the same boat

In one of Lowestoft’s shopping drags, one of those that can’t decide if it is pedestrianised or not, a chubby child in a sunhat plays in the sand with a crowbar rather than a spade, the beach is the sand under paving slabs which the scowling but resourceful child has prized up.  The scene embodies the famous slogan from the French student riots of ’68 “Sous les paves, la plage!”, “Under the paving stones, the beach!”

A child points at Banksy street art in Lowestoft

Child delighted to find Banksy girl playing in sand

This piece places the council in a quandary we will watch with amusement… Banksy is a great tourist draw for an economy “building back” but holes in pavements are a nailed on dead cert public liability nightmare!  In appearance though not meaning, this piece recalls Banksy’s 2010 Tesco sandcastle at British seaside town Hastings.

Banksy stencil street art in Hastings girl playing with Tescos sandcastles

Tesco sandcastles, Banksy, 2010

Lowestoft has more, the largest of the bunch brilliantly reproduces that seaside promenade classic – the chip stealing seagull.  This is the best realised of the current collection.  The simulation of a bag of chips using cut up loft insulation and a rusty skip placed in situ without permission is next level, a real classic Banksy.

Banksy street art stencil in Lowestoft showing seagull snatching chips from a packet which is actually insulation in a skip

Chip snatching Seagull, Banksy 2021

We had the pleasure of chatting with a local who saw the work in progress.  He recalls shrouded scaffolding, a van and a bored looking young man keeping watch.  With nearly 2 decades experience of looking bored around street art, my boy could empathise with Banksy’s lookout.  Our local observer explained the building was owned by an absent owner in London who let it to council-guaranteed temporary residents and that it had been subject of complaints in the past few years about the accumulation of crap in the front hard-standing.  So locals were not in the least bit surprised at what looked like contractors carrying out maintenance though they were puzzled that the work required insulation.

Banksy street art stencil in Lowestoft showing seagull snatching chips from a packet which is actually insulation in a skip

Chip snatching Seagull, Banksy 2021

The size of the painting and the installation of the rusty skip give this enterprise a degree of planning that few apart from Banksy have the skill to pull off without permission.  It will be interesting to see what happens to that skip when the chips have been stolen, as they inevitably will be.

Outside Lowestoft we found a chilled rat reclining on a beach chair, sheltered under a parasol while enjoying a cocktail whose mix includes the drip from an adjacent outfall pipe.  The rat is staring directly at the pipe in anticipation of the next top up.

It’s nice to see a Banksy rat again, in this case the black colour is predominantly freehand painted over a stencilled white layer which is unusual but Banksy has used the technique in the past, despite what a particular high profile Banksy street art acquirer/remover said.  See for example the Basquiat tribute piece at the Barbican centre in 2017, though that is one that the art chiseller failed to acquire.

Banksy stencil or a rat at a Lowestoft beach who is sipping a cocktail made from a pipe discharge

All The Fun Of The Seaside in Lowestoft

“Au revoir Lowestoft, it was lovely visiting you” and “Hello” to Gorleston Beach with its newly decorated beach shelter now sporting an arcade grab machine claw.  By the time of our visit, this piece had been opportunistically added to by local artist Raphiel Astoria, who signs their art Emo.  Among the additions are a number of stencilled bears, a statement proclaiming this to be a collaboration between Banksy and Emo and most provocatively, a stencilled Banksy tag.

Banksy stencil of an arcade game claw at Gorleston Beach with added teddy bers by local street artist EMO

Banksy arcade machine claw with teddy bears added by local artist

The photo released on Banksy’s website shows the arcade claw before any additional artwork so the suggestion of collaborative intent on Banksy’s part can be dismissed.  Robbo and Danny Minnick have made far superior interactions with Banksy street art in the past.

The additional bears look like the kind of bait prizes that never drop into the hopper of the arcade game.   According to local news sources, experts apparently think the enhancements mean the Banksy piece “Makes more sense now”.  What Emo has done dramatically changes our point of view, our relationship with the artwork.   Stencilling the bears on the wall means we are now looking from the outside at a selection of prizes, which of course includes any poseur sitting on the bench, inside an arcade game.  What Banksy painted actually gamified the whole world.  We were all, the whole world, inside the game and the claw was selecting “winners”, the allegorical touch was a nod to life as a game that confers privilege on a select few while the rest of us flounder unwanted.  From that perspective this was until the additions probably the most conceptually accomplished Banksy of the whole East Anglia collection.  It still makes a great Instagram photo opportunity though.

Tour guide Dave in front of Banksy stencil of an arcade game claw at Gorleston Beach with added teddy bears by local street artist EMO

Booby Prize (Dave spoils view of Banksy Arcade claw machine)

Merrivale Model Village is a self-effacing Great Yarmouth beach front gem completely drowned out by the garish competition.  Even the slush puppy concession outside is a bigger eye magnet.  Inside is a different story – it’s big, it’s delightful and it’s brilliantly British in a classic wholesome way.

View of Merrivale Model Village

Merrivale Model Village

A clandestine Banksy addition to the model collection is a defaced stable in classic gingerbread vernacular style placed in a quaint village in front of a medieval castle.  The vandalism inflicted on this fairytale scene is a Banksy fire extinguisher tag and a Banksy rat who has written “Go big or go home”, a very witty slogan to put up on the side of a miniature property.  The rat defacing the property has been caught literally red-handed, like the “If Graffiti changed anything” rat in London in 2011.

Banksy street art on a model home installed without permission at Merrivale Model Village

Banksy Fire Extinguisher

Banksy street art on a model home installed without permission at Merrivale Model Village

Go Big Or Go Home

The Banksy tag is a model scale version of the fire extinguisher tagging hugely approved of by hard-core graffiti writers, reproducing the fire extinguisher effect at model scale is very impressive. The Banksy tag here is not an artist signing their artwork, the tag IS the art, which is a completely different thing.

Banksy street art on a model home installed without permission at Merrivale Model Village

Banksy Fire Extinguisher tag

Things get a bit complex at this point, the model is only on display between 1pm and 3pm.  We had a lovely conversation with the son of the owner who told us that since word got out people were stepping onto the model village to get close up photos, so for the time the Banksy stable could only be displayed for limited supervised hours.  On Tuesday we did not know that!  However the owner kindly showed us behind the scenes and let us view the model close up, so what you see here is the empty space where Banksy left the model and a close up of the model photographed in another location.

Marrivale Model Village in Great Yarmouth showing spot where Banksy placed his model

Site of graffiti blighted Banksy development

UPDATE 1 – it appears that the owners under advice have actually completely withdrawn the model from display.

UPDATE 2 – it seems that they may now display the model under perspex (plexiglass).  Perhaps it is best to contact them before travelling!

Frank Newsome (Jr), son of the owner, told us was that it took them several days to spot the intrusion, an alert guest asked them if the Banksy defaced model was genuine and it took them a while to figure out what the guest meant.  Their minds went back to an incident a few days earlier where a female guest had been particularly fascinated in the model making process and ended up backstage on a personal tour while simultaneously a drone intruded into the airspace surrounding the model village so they scrambled their air defences and knocked the drone out of the sky with a net.  Management believes these activities were a deliberate distraction for the staff to facilitate the surreptitious placement of the new construction.  Banksy’s Instagram account includes drone footage of the model village installation so the story truly deserves to become part of the Banksy legend and the model village folklore.

Banksy’s additions are an amusing comment on the ubiquitous intrusion of the modern form of graffiti into this idyllic setting, nowhere is safe.  This is a companion to the Banksy humour seen in modified oil paintings such as “Tox Cottage”.

Banksy painting showing graffiti on a cottage in an old painting

Tox Cottage – photo Banksy.co.uk

Close by the model village a stencilled dancing duo on top of a bus shelter trip the light fantastic accompanied by an accordion player.  All the characters look like familiar Banksy cast but the most impressive aspect of this somewhat routine Banksy is its placement, it is a clever interaction with the street furniture and you have to admire Banksy for executing this on top of a council bus stop without being caught.

Banksy stencil of two dancers and an accordian player placed on top of a bus shelter in Great Yarmouth

Banksy Bus Stop Dancers, Great Yarmouth 2021

Two aspects of the Banksy artwork that has appeared in Cromer that might deter those of a less completist nature are that it is a bugger to find and the schlepp from the others to this one piece is an hour through the flattest English landscape imaginable.  Don’t be put off though as this is certainly the most detailed and colourful of the set.  A hermit crab with three empty shells is refusing access to three naked and needy hermit crabs, a social commentary piece touching on privilege, property ladder manipulation and social exclusion.

Banksy Stencil of a Landlord crab showing placard reading "Luxury Rentals Only" to homeless crabs at Cromer Beach

Luxury Rentals Only – Banksy

Banksy Stencil of a Landlord crab showing placard reading "Luxury Rentals Only" to homeless crabs at Cromer Beach

Luxury Rentals Only – Banksy

The arrangement and the placard device contain stylistic similarities with the 2014 “Migrants Not Welcome” piece in Clacton-on-Sea in Essex.

Banksy Stencil in Clacton on Sea of native birds waving placards telling exotic visiting birds to go home

Migrants Not Welcome – Banksy stencil

So all told this is a very impressive and above all enjoyable collection of street art.  The blending of political cynicism with humour is pure Banksy and above all, the execution bears Banksy hallmarks particularly the use of the scaffolding reported for the chip snatching seagull.  The distraction strategy reported for the Merrivale Model Village installation may be new but it feels consistent with the degree of planning that characterises Banksy’s illegal street art.

Banksy street art stencil in Lowestoft showing seagull snatching chips from a packet which is actually insulation in a skip

Seagull attacks badly parked mini cooper 2021

Interestingly two of the pieces in particular involved vandalism and dumping on public land, each of which could result in council jobsworths waving invoices for repairs to the pavement and removal of an abandoned skip in Lowestoft.

Banksy’s big reveal on instagram included two pieces which no one knew existed, they had not been spotted.  The first one is a small one colour stencil image of kids by a paddling pool in peril from an inflatable dinghy.  By chance I happened to photograph the pool where that stencil was placed, it had already been buffed by Tuesday and it seems probable it had gone the weekend before.

Banksy stencil of children in peril in a dinghy

Banksy Dinghy – photo Banksy.co.uk

Great Yarmouth Beach Scene with Banksy missing from the paddling pool

Paddling pool but no Banksy

The council has stated that its contractors removed that one quickly because of an unfortunate resonance with the tragic death nearby of a young child a few years ago, they stated they thought that the stencil may have been an unfortunate coincidence rather than tastelessly intentional.

The other new Banksy was in Kings Lynn.

Statue with ice cream cone and tongue in Kings Lynn – photo Banksy.co.uk

It is possible to fit in the 8 remaining (If you include the Merrivale Model Village) East Anglia Banksys in a day, it’s exhausting but hugely enjoyable.  It was a real pleasure that the pieces were not totally mobbed by crowds as is always the case for a new Banksy in London and also, other than the unfortunate augmentation of the arcade grab piece and the loss of the boat hull on another it was great to find them in pristine condition.


Banksy instagram “The Great British Spraycation”

Banksy Website

Merrivale Model Village Website

Our guide to the location of each of these East Anglian Banksys HERE

All photos: Dave Stuart except where stated

Street Art on the Old Street Area of Shoreditch

One Off Street Art Tour By Popular Demand – More Art, Different Streets!

We have had several requests recently from guests who have done our public street art tour to be guided around the street art over on the Old Street side of Shoreditch High Street rather than the Brick Lane side.

Street Art on the Old Street Area of Shoreditch

Permissioned Graffiti colours from Eighties Conspiracy on Old Street

We have been running our private tours around the Old Street area for years, they are different to our public tours mainly because typically private guests such as office parties and school groups want a shorter tour.

Boris Johnson Borissor Coldheart Care Bare Artistic graffiti on the Old Street Area of Shoreditch by graffiti artist Tizer

Borissor Coldheart Care Bears by Tizer, Old Street 2020

Always eager to please, we are delighted to announce a public tour on Sunday 1st August which will start from Old Street Roundabout rather than Spitalfields Market.  The only overlap with our “traditional” public tour will be the very last part where we look at Eine and Banksy.

Street Art on the Old Street Area of Shoreditch

Paste ups close to Old Street

Book quick by clicking HERE, spaces are likely to run out.

Street Art on the Old Street Area of Shoreditch

Mesa work in Progress and Urocki, Holywell Lane 2020

This may become an occasional thing so if you can’t make 1st August 2021 just drop us an email and we can let you know when we arrange future dates.

Feature image: Stik and others on site of former Foundry arts space

All photos: Dave Stuart

Street Art Of Banksy at Reading Prison landscape shot

Art Of Banksy Appears at Reading Prison

A street art stencil has appeared on the wall of the former Reading nick and after making us wait a little while, it has just this afternoon been confirmed this is art of Banksy, the tease.

Street Art Of Banksy at Reading Prison wide context shot

Create Escape by Banksy, Reading Prison


As usual the confirmation comes simultaneously via his website and his Instagram and for the second time in less than a year it is in the form of a video showing in gripping detail an unidentified person spraying a stencil on a wall.  A well sorted stencilling strategy is so important to a successful outcome and the video contains many hints about the order of operations for this particular artwork.

Street Art Of Banksy at Reading Prison unnamed person stencilling

screengrab from “The Joy Of Painting With Bob Ross…and Banksy”, Copyright Banksy

The artwork depicts old fashioned “over the wall” flit by a prisoner and the presence of the typewriter suggests the escapee is a writer.  All the coverage has inferred the art is related to Oscar Wilde’s incarceration in Reading and that seems reasonable.  Lots of references to Oscar Wilde’s last published work “The Ballad of Reading Gaol” abound though many contend that the piece was written while Wilde was in Reading while literary historians say it was written post release.

Street Art Of Banksy at Reading Prison full shot

Create Escape by Banksy, Reading Prison

Plenty of local coverage draws attention to a campaign to turn the now closed prison into an arts centre so there could be a political aspect with Banksy possibly offering support, though this would be the exact opposite of his intervention in 2010 which condemned the use of his street art as the centrepiece of a new “art-hotel”.

Banksy’s London street art career is the subject of “Banksy – The London Chronicle” – the virtual presentation by Banksy expert Dave Stuart coming up over the Easter period, more details HERE 

composite image of Banksy street art with stencil rat and stencil Westway Highwayman

Banksy Virtual Tour – If Graffiti Changed Anything and Westway Highway Man

Three elements really raise this seemingly modest artwork in the Banksy cannon.  Its placement is stunning, it is by the give way lines on a major roundabout in inner Reading so the chances of the artist being spotted were very high and indeed there are reports and photographs of work in progress last Sunday.

Street Art Of Banksy at Reading Prison "Simple Intelligence Test In Dumb Animals", reproduced from Banging Your Head Against A Brick Wall, copyright Banksy 2001

Work In Progress by anonymous photographer, Reading and Berkshire News

Secondly, it has context.  There is the physical context which is why you need to see the prison in the backdrop, not for nothing does Banksy’s video includes a rising birdseye view over the wall.  If you don’t see the prison buildings well, it’s just a high wall isn’t it.  The historical context too is important, this being where Oscar Wilde did time and so the prisoner has the old school (non graff) writer’s tools of the trade, the typewriter.  The weirdly downward pointing CCTV almost directly over the spot supplements the giggles nicely.

Street Art Of Banksy at Reading Prison closer shot

Create Escape by Banksy, Reading Prison

Most importantly, while politically it is relatively mute although some are contorting themselves to see it as Banksy support for a Reading art centre, it is a brilliant cartoon.  It ranks alongside the Simple Intelligence Test In Dumb Animals cartoon from Banksy’s 2001 book “Banging Your Head Against A Brick Wall”.

"Simple Intelligence Test In Dumb Animals", reproduced from Banging Your Head Against A Brick Wall, copyright Banksy 2001

“Simple Intelligence Test In Dumb Animals”, reproduced from Banging Your Head Against A Brick Wall, copyright Banksy 2001

"Simple Intelligence Test In Dumb Animals", reproduced from Banging Your Head Against A Brick Wall, copyright Banksy 2001

“Simple Intelligence Test In Dumb Animals”, reproduced from Banging Your Head Against A Brick Wall, copyright Banksy 2001

"Simple Intelligence Test In Dumb Animals", reproduced from Banging Your Head Against A Brick Wall, copyright Banksy 2001

“Simple Intelligence Test In Dumb Animals”, reproduced from Banging Your Head Against A Brick Wall, copyright Banksy 2001

There is a key aspect which the media hive seems to have collectively missed.  The prisoner has been almost universally described as escaping from the prison using knotted blankets, even this afternoon in its umpteenth repost on the piece the BBC is STILL adhering to the idea they are bedsheets yet that is clearly not the case.

Street Art Of Banksy at Reading Prison typewriter detail shot

Create Escape by Banksy, Reading Prison

Someone has given the wily prisoner a typewriter and under the guise of a major lengthy literary masterpiece, the prisoner has surreptitiously typed an escape rope on continuous paper.  This is about outsmarting your captors, just like the monkey in the intelligence test.  Or, as Banksy himself put it in his punchline to that cartoon “A lot of people never use their initiative, because no-one told them to”.

Street Art Of Banksy at Reading Prison typewriter detail shot

Create Escape by Banksy, Reading Prison


Photos: Dave Stuart except as stated