The New Banksy Mural in London Draws Attention to Ecological Issues

The New Banksy Mural in London Draws Attention to Ecological Issues
Photo credit: Banksy/

In March, the world-renowned street artist Banksy returned to the streets of London with a new work of art. A mural depicting a woman with a power washer, looking up at the splash of green paint, appeared overnight on a wall of a residential building in Islington North. While most of the area’s residents wonder about the potential rise in accommodation costs, others see the appearance of the Banksy mural as an opportunity to start the conversation about ecology and urban tree management.

The new Banksy mural in London draws attention to ecological issues

As soon as Banksy confirmed that the newly sprung artwork was indeed his, crowds rushed to the location to snap a picture of the new piece by the mysterious street artist. The mural depicts a woman holding a power washer and standing next to a big splash of green positioned in a way that makes it look like the crown of a denuded tree right in front of the wall. The tree, completely stripped of its leaves and branches, gained a new life through Banksy’s art. As soon as the piece was spotted by news outlets, discussions started about its meaning.

Some noted that the paint the artist used to create the green tree crown was the exact color of the paint that Islington Council, a local authority in London, uses to paint street signs. Islington Council is also responsible for the pruning of the tree Banksy incorporated into his artwork. Since Banksy is known for his site-specific artwork that incorporates the local context of every place he goes to, this theory is likely not far from the truth.

One particular article by The Guardian, which came out two days after the Banksy mural became the talk of the town, spotlighted the issue of poor urban tree management in London. The tree that effectively became part of Banksy’s new piece is a mature cherry that was severely cut down by the local authorities. The author of The Guardian article said that the pruning to such an extreme degree was unnecessary and was done from a lack of care for the nature of the city. Since Banksy’s artwork drew much-needed attention to the problem, there is a chance that the media attention will pressure the authorities to start taking appropriate measures to resolve it.