“WE are getting closer to the true definition of a superhero…” commented one Banksy fan on the elusive artist’s Instagram account next to an image of his latest work, a striking tribute to NHS workers created for staff at the Southampton General Hospital.
The predominantly black and white painting, entitled Game Changer, shows a small boy kneeling next to discarded Batman and Spiderman figures and clutching instead a new NHS nurse superhero doll, complete with facemask.
With her outstretched arm and billowing cape, she looks just like an action hero off to fight evil.
The painting is now on display in a foyer near the hospital’s emergency department.
Banksy left a note for the staff, saying: “Thanks for all you’re doing. I hope this brightens the place up a bit, even if it’s only black and white.”
The painting will remain at the hospital until the autumn, which it will go under the hammer to raise funds for NHS charities.
Commenting on Banksy’s gesture, the CEO of the University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust Paula Head said, “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”, she added.
“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.”