Banksy reveals a spree of new seaside works, and films the public’s brilliant reactions

A few days after the media and public started to notice the works popping up in seaside towns around Britain, the artist has posted an Instagram video showing the graffiti pieces being installed, and what locals think of the new additions.

Date
16 August 2021

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It seems everyone, even Banksy, is on a staycation at the moment. The artist was back in the headlines last week as people began to notice his trademark spraypainted societal commentary adorning new locations around the UK. The works are notably located in seaside towns such as Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth, and are suitably seaside-themed. A giant seagull swooping in for a “chip” from a skip; a giant arcade claw above a bench, about to grab anyone sitting on it; a child with a shovel next to a real sandcastle; and a stone statue now holding an ice cream and sporting a big tongue. There’s even an entire graffiti-covered house – albeit a miniature one, joining the quaint Merrivale Model Village.

While until recently the pieces were only rumoured to be the works of the globally infamous graffiti artist, Banksy has now officially owned up via a film posted on his Instagram, titled A Great British Spraycation. Soundtracked to traditionally seaside-esque organ music, the film shows the artist – identity obscured of course – touring the five towns in a campervan armed with spray paint, stencils and props. While most are lighthearted, a couple of the works point to more political themes, such as children on a small rowboat captioned “We’re all in the same boat”, and a group of hermit crabs without their shells, one apparently hoarding all the shells holding a placard saying “Luxury rentals only”. Another showing a rat relaxing in a deck chair has already been defaced, according to the Evening Standard, and the local council has employed specialist restorers to return it to the Banksy original.

The film also candidly captures some of the reactions from local residents to the new artworks, with one saying it “looks like mindless vandalism”; a group noticing the statue’s ice cream addition, noting that “someone’s done that”; and a particularly brilliant comment from one passerby: “It looks a lot better from far away than it does when you get this close.”

GalleryBanksy: A Great British Spraycation (Copyright © Banksy, 2021)

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Banksy: A Great British Spraycation (Copyright © Banksy, 2021)

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About the Author

Jenny Brewer

After five years as It’s Nice That’s news editor, Jenny became online editor in June 2021, now overseeing the website’s daily editorial output. Contact her with stories, pitches and tips relating to the creative industries on jb@itsnicethat.com.

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