Following a depiction of a creatively modified bathroom and a tribute to healthcare workers, Banksy has again responded to the COVID-19 pandemic in the form of a new video. In the short movie, the anonymous artist takes to the London Underground dressed as a member of sanitation staff. However, instead of deep cleaning the train, Banksy begins by stenciling one of his trademark rats onto the interior of the carriage. He then uses a spray paint gun to give the impression that the rat has sneezed across the window of the train.
In an apparent reference to the use of masks on public transportation, another of Banksy’s rats is using its face covering as a parachute, while another appears to be struggling with the size of the mask. A final rat is hanging from the handrail using sanitizer to spray graffiti across the end of the carriage. The video, which was posted on Banksy’s Instagram, ends with the hopeful words: ‘I get lockdown, but I get up again’.
Wearing a face covering became mandatory on public transport in London on june 15, 2020, however masks won’t be required to be worn in shops until July 24. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic projects proposed by the design community include a variety of creative emergency responses, medical masks, face shields, and social distancing devices.