As an art student I attended a fair number of art exhibitions, some dull and monotonous, some weird and entertaining but none quite like the latest addition to the side wall of Poundland near Turnpike Lane in London. Banksy a famous and yet secretive graffiti artist has chosen this run of the mill area as the setting for his latest piece of work and it can’t be a coincidence that he’s chosen Poundland as his canvas.
His latest work depicts an impoverished child working away at a sewing machine to create bunting for the Queens golden Jubilee. This is no doubt a comment on the ever increasing wealth divide, shining a light on how ridiculous it is to spend millions on a giant party when there are children in the world still forced into sweat shops and (even closer to home) budget cuts, mass unemployment and the privatisation of the NHS. The unusual thing I found when viewing the piece was that I and around 10 others had somehow reverted into art viewing mode and created an invisible rope barrier around the piece, we stood 5 foot from it not daring to get any closer until the illusion was broken by a pedestrian casually walking by.
This was certainly one of the oddest art exhibitions I have ever attended. Are you a fan of Banksy’s work? Is this recent piece a fitting critique of Britain’s self obsessed mindset, or a superficial attempt to cash in on an already popular sentiment? Leave your thoughts below.