The street artist Banksy has paid homage to the true superheroes of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic: nurses.
In a mostly black-and-white painting that has been installed at the Southampton General Hospital near the building’s emergency department, the artist depicts a child playing with a masked nurse doll in NHS uniform, while Marvel superheroes like Batman and Spiderman have been tossed aside in a bin.
The work has been installed in collaboration with hospital managers and will be auctioned later this year to raise money for the NHS.
In a note to health care workers in the hospital, the artist wrote: “Thanks for all you’re doing. I hope this brightens the place up a bit, even if it’s only black and white.” And in an Instagram post the artist published today—which coincides with National Nurses Day in the US—Banksy has captioned the image: “Game changer.”
“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,” Paula Head, the chief executive of the University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, told the BBC.
She added: “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.”