Banksy gifts new artwork to hospital in thanks to NHS staff
6 May 2020, 18:12
Elusive street artist Banksy has donated a new piece of artwork to be displayed in a hospital corridor.
The piece, entitled Game Changer, is now on view to staff and patients on Level C of Southampton General Hospital.
It shows a boy dressed in dungarees playing with a nurse superhero toy, with figures of Batman and Spiderman in a basket on the floor.
The nurse, wearing a cape, face mask and a white apron featuring a red cross, has her arm raised as if she is flying.
Banksy left a note for hospital workers, saying: "Thanks for all you're doing. I hope this brightens the place up a bit, even if its only black and white."
After lockdown measures are lifted, the piece - which is approximately one metre high and one metre wide - will be put on public display.
It will then be auctioned to raise money for NHS charities, a spokeswoman for Banksy confirmed.
Paula Head, chief executive of University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, said: "Here at Southampton, 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.
"It will no doubt also be a massive boost to morale for everyone who works and is cared for at our hospital."
The hospital previously paid tribute to members of staff Mike Brown, 61, and Katy Davis, 38, who both died after testing positive for coronavirus.
Mr Brown, a linen porter who had been with the organisation for 20 years, died on April 29 after receiving care in the hospital's critical care unit.
He was described as a well-recognised and popular member of staff who shared his good sense of humour with those around him.
Ms Davis, who worked in child health, had been unwell for some time before her admission to hospital and died on April 21 after testing positive for Covid-19.
She was described by Ms Head as a "nurse people would aspire to be like".