6:00 AM July 4, 2022
The Banksy artwork which was removed from Lowestoft and sold for millions has been recreated within a mural by a local artist.
Joe Thompson, 61, said it was a blow to the community when the world famous artist’s latest work, during his tour for the Great British Spraycation back in August 2021, was taken from Lowestoft.
Banksy left his iconic artwork at locations around Norfolk and Suffolk, some of which are still in place, but the graffitied image of a child digging a sandcastle on the side of the former Lowestoft Electrical store on London Road North was sold off for £ 2m by the building’s owners.
But Mr Thompson took it upon himself to create his own artwork, which he spray painted on to the side of his own home on the High Street, called the “Banksy vending machine”, in a bid to spark debate about art and the community.
He said: “The town was really proud that he came here but then to see it removed and shipping out for profit was disappointing.
“That’s not what Banksy did it for.
“I have always been a Banksy fan and what I love is, you look at his work but you do not really know what he means by it. So it starts a debate.
“That’s what inspired my idea to do the Banksy vending machine.”
Using a photograph he had taken of the original Banksy work, Mr Thompson then set about creating a stencil.
He completed the mural on Friday, July 1, completed with a QR code which explains his reasons for creating the artwork.
“I’m a graphic designer by trade,” he added.
“I have never done anything like this. But I was really proud of how it came out.
“But I’m not trying to mislead anyone, I just want to start a debate, which is about being proud of our area.
“Already, we have had some lovely comments. Everyone is welcome to come and take a look.”
Mr Thompson said he was also looking for other street artists to add their work to his wall.
A recreation of the town’s Banksy artwork on London Road North, by local artist Greater Than, was recently tagged in reference to a decades old feud between graffiti artists.
‘Team Robbo’ was painted on the protective screen, seemingly in reference to a long-running feud between Banksy and a London artist.