06:00 July 4, 2022
The Banksy artwork removed from Lowestoft and sold for millions has been recreated in a mural by a local artist.
Joe Thompson, 61, said it was a blow to the community when the world-famous artist’s latest work was taken from Lowestoft during his tour for the Great British Spraycation in August 2021.
Banksy left his iconic artwork at sites in Norfolk and Suffolk, some of which are still extant, but the graffitied statue of a child digging a sand castle on the side of the former Lowestoft Electrical store on London Road North was sold for £2 million by the building’s owners.
But Mr. Thompson took it upon himself to create his own artwork, which he sprays onto the side of his own High Street home, dubbed the ‘Banksy vending machine’, in an effort to spark debate about art and the community. bring.
He said: “The city was really proud of him coming here, but when it was removed and it shipped for a profit, it was disappointing.
“That’s not what Banksy did it for.
“I’ve always been a Banksy fan and what I love is that you look at his work but don’t really know what he means by it. So it starts a debate.
“That’s what inspired my idea to create the Banksy vending machine.”
Using a photo he’d taken of Banksy’s original work, Mr. Thompson started making a stencil.
He completed the mural on Friday, July 1, completed with a QR code explaining his reasons for creating the artwork.
“I’m a graphic designer by trade,” he added.
“I’ve never done anything like this. But I was really proud of how it turned out.
“But I’m not trying to mislead anyone, I just want to start a debate, which is about being proud of our area.
“We’ve already had nice reactions. Everyone is welcome to come and take a look.”
Mr Thompson said he was also looking for other street artists to add their work to his wall.
A recreation of the city’s Banksy artwork on London Road North, by local artist Greater Than, was recently tagged in reference to a decades-old feud between graffiti artists.
‘Team Robbo’ is painted on the protective screen, seemingly in reference to a long-running feud between Banksy and a London artist.