Anonymous artist Banksy pays homage to hero hospital workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Dubbed “Game Changer”, the monochrome illustration depicts a young boy playing with a caped nurse, who is wearing a face mask. The nurse has her arm outstretched as she ‘flies’ through the sky. Meanwhile, the child’s more conventional toy superheroes, Batman and Spiderman, sit redundant in a waste paper basket. The work follows Banksy’s depiction of rats wreaking havoc in what appears to be his own bathroom.
According to the BBC, the artwork has been installed within Southampton General Hospital on the South Coast of England. Measuring approximately one square meter, or 40 x 40 inches, the painting was hung in collaboration with hospital managers in a foyer near the emergency department. “Thanks for all you’re doing. I hope this brightens the place up a bit, even if its only black and white,” is the message left by the artist in the hospital.
So proud to reveal this amazing piece of art Painting for Saints, created by #Banksy as a thank you to all those who work with and for the NHS and our hospital. Temporarily on display @UHSFT. An inspirational backdrop to pause and reflect in these unprecedented times. pic.twitter.com/3QIgMyrlcA
— Paula Head (@paulahead_UHS) May 6, 2020
Banksy has donated the artwork on the occasion of the National Nurse Day on May 6. At the end of the nineteenth century, “The Lady with the Lamp” – as Florence Nightingale is best known – founded modern nursing. Thanks to her rigorous use of handwashing and hygiene practices during the treatment of soldiers injured in the Crimean War, Nightingale and her helpers reduced the mortality rate from 42% to 2%, inaugurating breastfeeding as we know it today. On 6 May the important role played by nurses in our lives is recognized by celebrating National Nursing Day.