Banksy hits up Turnpike Lane
The mysterious graffiti artist Banksy visited Whymark Avenue, a quiet street near Turnpike Lane Station in north London to make a point about child labour and the Queen’s Jubilee.
He painted his latest work on the side of the local Poundland, a popular discount store chain in the UK that got bad press in the past for buying its products from suppliers that use child labour in Asia. Banksy painted a kid hunched over a sewing machine, making bunting with the Union Jack on it just in time for the Queen’s Jubilee coming up next month.
The bunting was attached to the wall and is the exact type sold by Poundland, so although the corporation has made anti-child labour part of its social accountability policy, Banksy must be skeptical. The work is trademark of Banksy in its critique of capitalism, middle class society, and how the Jubilee is celebrated on the backs of people making almost nothing in developing countries.
When I dropped by the graffiti had already been covered with a plastic screen so no one could ruin or alter it. There were people all around taking pictures and talking about Banksy and Poundland, which was unusual in a city where strangers never talk to each other. People joked about Banksy’s anonymity – no one knows what he looks like – and the fact that anyone standing there could have been him, listening to them talk about his work.
People also don’t know why he chose this very average part of London to be the scene for his latest work, but everyone is glad he did. It’s got neighbours talking and brought attention to a very important topic.