“Inspirations Blog” #1: Banksy

Hi there!

This is Mark, and this is my new “Inspirations Blog” – which is where I intend to describe in greater detail what, why, and how I may have been inspired by something in particular, at a particular time, and describe why I find something to have significance to me in more words than I might usually use if I were to write a poem about something, someone, or somewhere.

Today, I would like to talk about Banksy – or, more specifically, I want to talk about the brand new Banksy artwork that has sprung up essentially over night on the streets of Birmingham, here in the U.K., and this is the artwork in question:

– which depicts two reindeer flying against a starry sky, and I personally love it! However, I must add that the “red noses” on the two reindeer were added later to the mural, and it appears that they were spray-painted by a random member of the public who just so happened to be carrying a can of red spray-paint (which I have heard has lead some people to believe that this “defacing” of the Banksy mural might have been a deliberate act; however, I remain dubious about this possibility until I actually hear Banksy say that this was the case himself.)

The Banksy mural was unveiled to the world yesterday morning (Monday, the 9th of December, 2019) via an Instagram post by Banksy himself:

And since then hundreds of people have seen it by now in the flesh (so to speak), thousands of people online have seen the post by Banksy, and no doubt people will choose to visit Birmingham, especially the city’s Jewellery Quarter where the mural has been painted – specifically on a wall near on Vyse St. near to where the Jewellery Quarter train station is located. And when I went to see the new Banksy for myself this morning there was already a sizable crowd of people all there to see it and to get their picture taken next to it – because, after all, it is a big deal for Birmingham.

The world-renowned graffiti artist known as Banksy has been creating art installations and painting murals on walls all over the world – from London to New York, from the West Bank to Los Angeles – and, luckily, some of his most recognised pieces of art still remain where they were created; however, there are of course some that have been appropriated and sold off – which I believe goes against why Banksy creates art in the first place. I have always believed that Banksy creates art to give something back to society and to essentially draw peoples attention to a particular cause, or to send a specific message, or to leave a particular sentiment that rings true in the minds of rational people as well as fans of his who appreciate his work – which I count myself as being.

I have been a fan of Banksy’s for years – and I always thoroughly enjoy every piece of art that he has curated and shared. I have taken to finding and seeing with my own eyes as many Banksy pieces as I can – and in March of 2015, I set out on a quest around London to try and find any remaining Banksys, and I was lucky to find one that still remained on the outside wall of a house:

– which I have to say was the highlight of my trip London, as well as also seeing some extraordinary paintings by Vincent Van Gogh at the National Art Gallery. I was so inspired by my trip to London and by the art that I saw that to this day I can still remember every moment and every artistic discovery that I made.

But this new Banksy in Birmingham feels more “special” for some reason – probably because it is the only Banksy that I have heard of being painted in Birmingham, and also the fact of the festive motif that it depicts – which I believe is not only perfect for this time of the year, but, like all of Banksy’s pieces of art, it also carries with it a vital message that we need to be mindful of.

I personally cannot wait to see it again – and in the last couple of hours since I saw it for the first time it has been reported that the authorities have now put a Perspex protective sheet over the new Banksy mural to protect it and to preserve it, which I think is so necessary because I believe that Banksy choosing Birmingham to paint his new festive and hopeful mural means something and also adds something to Birmingham that it did not have before… and if more people come to Birmingham because of the new Banksy, then so be it! Birmingham already has so much art, culture, and landmarks to marvel at and to enjoy – and, in my opinion, Banksy has gifted the City of Birmingham and its people another.

I would personally like to thank Banksy for being Banksy, for choosing Birmingham to paint his newest mural, and for his sentiments regarding Birmingham (a city which I know well) – and I would also like to share and publicly declare along with Banksy:

“God Bless Birmingham!”

-Mark