A new Banksy piece has been hung in the Southampton General Hospital in commemoration of the efforts of healthcare workers during the coronavirus pandemic.
The painting is entirely black and white, aside from the Red Cross symbol depicted on the nurse. Beside the child, Batman and Spiderman figurines lie in what appears to be a wastebasket. In an accompanying note, Banksy wrote:
“Thanks for all you’re doing. I hope this brightens the place up a bit, even if its only black and white.”
Speaking on the artwork, Paula Head, CEO of the University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust described:
“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.”
“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,” she continued. “It will no doubt also be a massive boost to morale for everyone who works and is cared for at our hospital.”
So far there have been 49 confirmed deaths of NHS workers during the pandemic, including surgeons, nurses, porters, and volunteers, although the exact number is likely to be over 150. One worker from the Southhampton General Hospital who passed away was Mike Brown, who had worked at the hospital as a porter for 20 years. Katy Davis, a nurse at Southhampton Children’s hospital, also passed away along with her twin sister, also a former nurse
The painting will remain in the Southampton General Hospital until September, after that the piece will be auctioned off with all money going towards the hospital.