Speculation: Banksy is behind new tree mural in London street

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By journalsofus.com

  • By Doug Faulkner and Alex Smith
  • BBC News

image Source, James Peake/The Banksy Story

image Caption,

The graffiti is painted to look like tree leaves

A crowd has gathered at the site of a work of art by street artist Banksy in north London.

The mural – a wall behind a tree cut to look like a leaf has been sprayed green, with a stencil of a man holding a pressure hose next to it – appeared on Sunday.

This has not yet been confirmed by the artist himself.

A local man who lives in Finsbury Park said he was “proud and delighted” to have his street chosen.

“It feels like a personal message to us residents, we feel very proud,” said Vanja Sellers, who lives a short distance from the mural.

It appeared on Hornsey Road in Finsbury Park, north London, on Sunday morning.

image Source, Ella Nunn/PA Wire

image Caption,

People have been coming to see the artwork in droves since it was first revealed

“It seems like a dead certificate in my opinion,” he said.

“But as always with Banksy – you’ll never know for sure, unless he spoofs it by posting it on his website.”

The elusive artist officially confirms his work by posting photos on his website and social media – which has not yet been done for the Finsbury tree. The BBC has contacted Banksy’s team for comment.

But documentary maker Mr Peake said the artwork “definitely bears all the hallmarks of Banksy”.

“It has the right technologies, it definitely has an easy to understand message, a very clever spot, and it really resonates as soon as you see it”.

“The message is clear,” he said. “Nature is struggling and it is up to us to help it bounce back.”

image Source, James Peake/The Banksy Story

image Caption,

The colors used for the artwork are similar to those of Islington Council signs, as seen in the foreground

Mr Peake said: “If you go to the beginning of his work, he’s always looking for something he can do with minimal effort to make something look really good.”

He said the graffiti – “a large arterial spray of green paint” on a white wall, with a “classic Banksy-style stencil” – would likely have been created using a pressure hose or fire extinguisher.

The color of green used matches that used by Islington Council for signs in the local area, which Mr Peake said showed Banksy’s eye for detail.

“When you step back it looks like the tree has come to life, but in a completely fake and artificial way.

He said, “It’s spring now, and the leaves should be bursting on this tree, but Banksy must have thought how miserable it looks while cycling by.”

“So, on St Patrick’s Day, they’ve taken exactly the same shade of green that Islington Council uses for their street signs and used a pressure hose or fire extinguisher to spray the leaves onto the shabby wall behind. Have used.”

And, speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Mr Peake said that, by including a tree in the artwork, the artist had “solved an emerging problem” of people trying to steal Banksy’s work.

“I don’t think anyone would be able to cut it down… How do you steal a tree?”

image Source, James Peake/The Banksy Story

Mr Peake said the mural generated a lot of intrigue over the weekend, with “a lot of people wandering around” on Sunday afternoon., “Everyone is very excited”.

While he was viewing the art, he met Islington councilor Flora Williamson while she was campaigning.

Ms Williamson said it was “incredible” to have a Banksy artwork potentially “right in the middle of social housing and one of the poorest parts of the borough”.

“I think it adds intrigue and culture and makes the area livelier”, he said.

Mr Peake said there was often a “Banksy effect” that was seen in places like Port Talbot and Norfolk when artworks appeared there, with people rushing to take photographs of the murals.

According to BBC Radio London reporter Anna O’Neill, even on Monday morning it was “causing a real stir”, with at least 30 people there to view the artwork at any given time.

One of them was Finsbury Park resident Aileen, who said when she passed by the graffiti for the first time on Sunday, she immediately thought “this must be a Banksy”.

Another, Lydia Guerra, who lives on Hornsey Road, said she felt “very proud that he chose our street”.

“It’s so cool… we knew we had to come and see it as soon as possible”.

Meanwhile podcast presenter Sally Flatman said she had come down to see the artwork after hearing about it on the radio.

“To me, it shows how valuable green spaces are, and how we need more of them in our urban areas”.

Following the appearance of the artwork, local people have also taken to social media.

One said: “Banksy arrived overnight and now my rent is going to skyrocket.”

While another said: “Proud of the new carers of an obvious new Banksy piece in Finsbury Park… Saw it on the edge of the flat when I woke up this morning.”

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