Sunday, 30 August 2009

Banksy versus Cycling City

Banksy is an enigmatic character full of surprises, his works appearing unexpectedly and in unlikely locations. So perhaps we should all keep our eyes open for those incongruous interventions in our familiar urban environment which might just turn out to be examples of the maestro's work. Here for example is one of Cycling City's prime cycle routes through St Philips, a former traffic route now closed to motor vehicles. But what are these recent additions to the ubiquitous concrete kerbs and bollards?

Could what may at first sight appear to be a random collection of discarded tyres, pallets and assorted rubbish be the work of the master prankster himself? There is something strangely engaging about the distribution of the detritus, something that speaks to us of our inner contradictions and the social and environmental dysfunction that empitomises them. Subtle yet telling, the work catches us unawares as we pass by on our daily travels. Whether it is a work of Banksy himself or perhaps a younger pretender I do not know, but there is no doubting the genius of the creator.

Silverthorne Lane - anonymous (Banksy?) work (detail)

The appearance of this new work creates yet another dilemma for our beleaguered City Council. Whether to treat this as just another case of anti-social fly tipping and have the 'clean and green' brigade sweep it all away to oblivion or to recognise the underlying genius and indeed the potential of this work to bring a much needed economic boost to a deprived area. Perhaps this is something they should consult the public on, as they did over whether or not to remove the Banksy on Park Street. Otherwise on their heads be it if they make the wrong decision.

View Banksies in Bristol in a larger map


Anonymous said...

What you didnt show is the Four and a half hour queue to view this Tony-Hancock-In-The-Rebel-esque piece of GENIUS

Adam said...

I regularly see people queuing under that bridge. Usually about three or four of them. Not sure what they're queuing for but they do seem to be handing out tickets for something to each other.

A very useful cut through on a bike that route. If you make it through the broken glass without a puncture then it's a very good shortcut to the showcase car park and beyond.

woodsy said...


They could be smackheads or art lovers. The way to tell them apart is that art lovers usually pester you for 20p for the phone (presumably to tell fellow art lovers of their find). ;-)