The Extinction Rebellion protests have been disrupting central London for 10 days now, with thousands of people taking to the streets to spread awareness about climate change. Today marks the end of the 10 day demonstrations and perhaps to mark the occasion, a suspected Banksy mural has appeared in Marble Arch.
This morning, passers-by surrounded the piece of artwork, taking turns to pose and take selfies with what looks like a suspected Banksy.
What does the mural symbolise?
The distinct stencilled artwork that we all associate with the enigmatic graffiti artist depicts a child, kneeling down and holding a symbolic sand-timer. At her feet is a mound of soil with a plant growing out of it, and a spade digging into the earth. This style of dark street art is typical of Banksy, so it's no wonder he is suspected to be the artist behind it.
Next to the stencil, the following words are written in chalk:
“From this moment, despair ends and tactics begin”
Speaking to those taking photos of the Banksy, we asked them what they thought of it. Kerstin Schork, who was visiting from Germany, told us:
“It reminds me of Fridays For Future, which is really taking off in Germany. All these children are striking in protest, and this looks like a child in Banksy’s artwork. Young people are being really inspired by Greta Thunberg.”
Protestor, Jamie Sheeran told us:
“Art is not a crime, let the tactics begin.”
Amongst Banksy's most famed artwork in London is the 'Guard Dog and His Master’s Voice' on Rivington Street in Shoreditch, the infamous 'Graffiti Painter' in Notting Hill in bright red and 'If Graffiti changed anything, it would be illegal' in Clipstone Street, Fitzrovia. This final example of his work is a reference to a quote by Emma Goldman who campaigned for Womens rights, originally, 'If voting ever changed anything, it would be illegal.' Today, you can still visit the mural, now protected in a layer of perspex.
Words and images: Maeve Campbell