Banksy – ‘From this moment despair ends and tactics begin’ – Extinction Rebellion piece at Marble Arch, London
First things first – this Extinction Rebellion themed piece that appeared in April 2018 has never been claimed by Banksy but there are several good reasons to believe it is the artists work. The most convincing is that a stencil version of this image has been seen before in an artwork in Banksy’s Walled Off Hotel in Bethlehem. Then there’s both the style and the placement which all bear all the hallmarks of a Banksy piece and the fact that another very short lived piece appeared elsewhere in London at the same time. Even the usually ‘trigger happy’ graffiti cleaning Westminster council held fire on this one commenting at the time “We’re aware of the possible Banksy which appeared in Marble Arch overnight. Our officers are looking into this,”.
It appeared as the Extinction Rebellion climate change camp was cleared away after being two weeks on the site and it’s believed it may have been painted in situ under the cover of a tent or covering. The wall it is on doesn’t look like it is moving any time soon so to protect it a perspex cover has been put in place and at last viewing it was still in good condition. The council certainly are now treating this as a Banksy with Cabinet Member for Sports, Culture and Community, Cllr Iain Bott, saying “Banksy’s work generates so much excitement and attention, sadly some of that attention isn’t positive – so we needed to take steps to protect and preserve it for the future”. Ironic really as nearby they removed his ‘What Are You Looking At” stencil and elsewhere the giant One Nation Under CCTV just off Oxford Street.
All photos: Steve Cotton / artofthestate.co.uk