Nottingham, Oct 17 | Renowned graffiti artist Banksy has confirmed that the hula-hooping girl mural which appeared in Nottingham was created by him.
The work, outside a beauty salon, shows a girl hula-hooping with a bicycle tyre. It went up on Tuesday, next to a bicycle that is missing its back wheel, the BBC reported.
Amid speculation over whether the piece was a Banksy, a screen was fitted to it. In an ironic twist, soon afterwards the screen was sprayed with graffiti.
A picture of the work was posted on Banksy’s Instagram account on Saturday morning.
The salon the artwork appeared outside is on the junction of Rothesay Avenue and Ilkeston Road in Lenton, a popular residential area for students.
After the announcement, people began arriving to have their photographs taken with the artwork, with about 30 people there at one point, as well as police officers.
Nicola Marshall, 39, from Clifton, Nottingham, came with her son Klaye to see the work. She said: “It’s a bit of positivity with all this coronavirus going on.”
Danial Ahmer, 23, a student who lives on Rothesay Avenue, said: “I think it’s eye-catching. It was a bit surreal and random to see it here though.”
Banksy expert Prof Paul Gough, from Arts University Bournemouth – who initially doubted whether it was the real deal – said he was “really pleased” the work was by the artist.
Talking about the meaning behind the artwork, he said: “It is curious. The last four or five (Banksy pieces) have all related to Covid or something in the news. This is much more whimsical and much more of the moment. It is someone enjoying themselves.
Banksy began spray-painting trains and walls in his home city of Bristol in the 1990s, and before long was leaving his artistic mark all over the world.
He is famed for poking fun at big companies and sending political messages through his work.
A spokesman from Nottingham City Council said it was “amazing” Banksy had confirmed the work was his, adding “we obviously don’t know why he chose Nottingham but we’re a city famous for our rebels, like Robin Hood of course”.
He said: “The fact that the artwork features a bike could be a reference to the Raleigh factory that used to be nearby, famous for its role in Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, the novel by local author Alan Sillitoe and iconic 1960 film starring Albert Finney.”