A provocative mural that looks similar to the work of Banksy and seems to make a statement about slavery ahead of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee has appeared on the side of a Poundland store in Wood Green, north London.
The artwork, which features Union Flag bunting coming from a sewing machine, on top of a base that resembles the infamous Bristol statue of slave trader Edward Colston that was famously torn down by Black Lives Matter protesters, was spotted by passers-by on Wednesday.
In December, Banksy posted on his official Instagram account, promoting souvenir shirts ahead of the trial of four people charged with pulling down Colston’s statue.
The new piece resembles an artwork that appeared on the same wall, where Wood Green High Road meets Whymark Avenue, ahead of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations a decade ago.
Art dealer and Banksy expert John Brandler, of Brandler Galleries in Essex, told The Independent he believes the new mural in Wood Green is a genuine Banksy.
He said: “This piece reminds me of early pieces of his that he did featuring a fountain and a statue. That on the front cover of his independent T-shirt company together with the flags from the Olympic piece from 10 years ago the and the intricacy of the stencil work involved I would strongly think that this is done by Banksy. The references, the flags and the location indicate to me that this is Banksy.
“In a year full of interest in anniversaries I think this is Banksy having some fun. I know that he is going to be working incredibly hard at Glastonbury and he’s doing a number of pieces for Glastonbury, which is my only cause for concern – time to do both. This is not a typical piece of street art via an unknown artis,t this is a very sophisticated piece on a poignant place so I would think it is by him.”
In May 2012, another artwork believed to be by Banksy – Slave Labour (Bunting Boy), showing a young boy hunched over a sewing machine making Union Flag bunting – appeared on the very same wall near Turnpike Lane station.
The chunk of wall, and Slave Labour artwork, disappeared in February 2013. Soon after, another artwork believed to be by Banksy, a rat holding a sign saying “Why?”, appeared next to where the artwork had been.
Slave Labour then popped up at an auction house in Miami but was returned to the UK following a protest. It later sold at auction in London for £750,000.
The new artwork in Wood Green is next to the rat, which has been covered in a protective case.
It has appeared in the lead up to the Platinum Jubilee celebrations at the start of June, as many campaigners call for the Royal Family to apologise for its historical links to slavery.
The Independent has contacted Banksy’s representatives for comment.