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Where to find the Banksy Mural in St Leonards

It’s not often you stumble across a Banksy especially one that’s been around for ages. But that’s exactly what happened over the weekend on the seafront at St Leonards.

Created in 2010 the piece was painted on the back of a concrete set of stairs leading down to the beach. It shows a small child in sunglasses building sandcastles each of which has the word ‘Tesco’ written on it.


The mural by Banksy in St Leonards was painted in 2010

Banksy and Ben Eine

By all accounts the artist was in the town for the 40th birthday of his friend Ben Eine. The two did at one point spend a lot of time together. Indeed Eine himself recently told our ‘Art Related Noise‘ podcast a little about what they would get up to whilst on their travels together. At one point he also had his studio in the area.

Eine had been creating a large portrait of Prince Charles at the same time the Banksy piece went up. A very different kind of work for him, the image of the younger prince was on the corner of Norman Road and pixellated. The work was a far cry from the typeface work he’s become known for nowadays. If your a fan of Eine’s shutter letters then you can still spot a number of those around the town.


Prince Charles by Ben Eine on Norman Road was painted in 2010. It is however no longer there. Photograph by Genny Marsh via Flickr

Tesco Sandcastles

But back to the piece by Banksy and its meaning. A number of inferences could be made. Most notably the whole Tescos being sandcastles with no firm foundations type of analogy. Who knows, the truth is it could have been just a bit of fun. Though in saying that, Banksy does have form with his penchant for poking fun at the supermarket giant. In 2008 his ‘Tesco Kids‘ mural on Essex Road in North London showed a group of kids hoisting a Tesco plastic bag up a flagpole. Standing with their hands to their hearts they looked up as if pledging allegiance to it.

In 2005 he created his Tesco value ‘Soup Can’ as a print in a ironic imagining of the famous Andy Warhol image. Then in 2011 he created the famous tesco value petrol bomb as a “commemorative souvenir poster“. This followed the riots in the Stokes Croft area of Bristol that year. It would seem that for whatever reason Banksy has, or at least had, a bit of a fixation on the supermarket.

 


Tesco Value Petrol Bomb by Banksy

 


Tesco Value Soup Can by Banky

 


Kids hoisting a Tesco flag by Banksy

The Banksy mural in St Leonards can be found next to the Marina car park on the back of some concrete steps leading to the beach. It is approximately opposite St Leonards parish church on Undercliff. The mural was visited on Saturday 17 August 2019. You can read more about street art in the Hastings and St Leonards area here and more about Banksy here. Those interested in the painted house by Dotmasters which is nearby can read about that here.


The Banksy on the beach in St Leonards

Tesco Sandcastles

The Banksy in St Leonards is next to the English Channel

An added treat at the side of the Banksy piece reveals this little gem from DS Arts

Banksy Extinction Rebellion Street Art appears at Marble Arch

A mural apparently by Banksy has appeared next to the Marble Arch in London. Showing a child planting a sapling into the ground and holding the ‘Extinction Rebellion‘ logo. It also contains some scrawled writing which says ‘From this moment despair ends and tactics begin.”

By the time we had arrived the piece had of course been covered in perspex. It’s always a race against time these days when a new Banksy appears. Sitting on a low wall next to the Arch it had become an impromptu tourist attraction. Lines of people were already there waiting patiently to have their photo taken next to the work.

Banksy on the Marble Arch

The mural appeared just after the conclusion of the Extinction Rebellion protests which saw demonstrations across London. The Marble Arch was one of the key locations at which protesters would gather. The choice of topic isn’t a surprise. Much of Banksy’s previous work has had an environmental flavour to it. A recent piece in Port Talbot showed a child seemingly enjoying the snow. Before revealing that it was actually waste from a nearby incineration.

Although, at the time of writing, the art has not been confirmed by Banksy himself. It is remarkably similar to the artists most recent installation at the Walled Off Hotel in Bethlehem. That artwork shows a child drawn in the same style playing with some building blocks next to a love heart sized hole in the West Bank Barrier. The style of stencil, the scrawled message and the political theme all point to the artist as being responsible.

Extinction Symbol

The Extinction Rebellion concept and idea has been growing over recent years, The symbol itself having first being designed in 2011 by the artist ESP. Now used as a rallying banner. It was adopted in 2018 as the symbol for the mass movement which has grown exponentially over the past year. We saw it for the first time in 2016. Created by Carrie Reichardt as a giant mosaic as part of the ENDANGERED13 event on the arches next to the Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park. Banksy’s use in this latest work is another powerful affirmation that the symbol is here to stay.

Painted within the public space of Marble Arch it’s always a question as to what the council will choose to do with it. Posing a dilemma to the local authorities, Westminster council would normally clamp down on unauthorised graffiti or street art in the area. It’s a fact that no doubt would not be lost on Banksy who will be well aware of the public value of his art. It’s another feature of the artist that, following a series of protests which disrupted so much. The symbol of that disruption might well now be protected next to one of London’s greatest landmarks.

The extinction rebellion mural appeared on 25 April 2019 and was photographed by Inspiring City on 28 April 2019. It can be found next to the Marble Arch in London.

From this moment despair ends and tactics begin

The Banksy mural next to the Arch

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