New Banksy Mural Appears on a Building in London

Located on a wall behind a bare tree, the work features towering streaks of green meant to look like foliage

Banksy St. Patrick’s Day mural
A bright green Banky mural appeared on a residential building in London on St. Patrick's Day. Adrian Dennis / AFP via Getty Images

The street artist Banksy has claimed credit for a new mural that popped up on the side of a London residential building on St. Patrick’s Day.

Located in the Finsbury Park neighborhood, the artwork depicts a figure holding a pressure washer standing below towering streaks of green. A bare tree is nestled in the courtyard in front of the piece; from the right vantage point, the green spray paint appears to be the tree’s foliage.

“When you step back, it looks like the tree is bursting to life, but in a noticeably fake and synthetic way,” James Peak, the journalist behind BBC Radio 4’s “The Banksy Story” podcast, tells BBC News’ Doug Faulkner and Alex Smith. “It’s spring now, and this tree should be bursting forth with leaves, but Banksy must have cycled past and thought how miserable it looks.”

According to Peak, the new work has “all of the hallmarks” of a classic Banksy. These include the artist’s distinctive style, a clear message that resonates immediately and a “very clever location.”

The elusive street artist often creates murals that interact with objects or structures in their surrounding environments, such as a gymnast balancing on a real pile of rubble. In his newest work, Banksy has imbued a real tree’s empty branches with new meaning.

“The message is clear,” Peak tells BBC News. “Nature’s struggling, and it is up to us to help it grow back.”

On Monday, Banksy confirmed the piece was his by posting three images of the building on his Instagram account: One shows the tree in front of a blank wall, while the others depict the completed mural and a close-up of the stenciled figure.

The bright green color that Banksy used is not only apt for St. Patrick’s Day. It’s also the same shade as the area’s street signs. After the mural appeared, crowds of locals began gathering to check out the famous artist’s work for themselves.

“We’re so proud and delighted that Banksy chose our road and chose Finsbury Park for his work,” Wanja Sellers, who lives near the site, tells PA Media’s Ella Nunn. “Choosing the colors of our borough just makes it feel like a personal message to us residents.”

Lidia Guerra, another resident, says the tree reminds her of a weeping willow. “There’s perhaps a message about the struggle of nature with the dead tree in front,” she tells the news agency.

Jeremy Corbyn, the former Labour Party leader who represents the area in Parliament, also weighed in. “Banksy has come to Islington!” he wrote on X (formerly Twitter). “What wonderful artwork, proving there is hope for our natural world everywhere.”

The Guardian’s Kevin Rawlinson reports that the graffiti removal team in the area knows about the work and has decided to leave it as is. Alex Georgiou, whose company owns the building, has no plans to get rid of it, either.

“It’s quite mad to be honest, to come down here and just to see all the crowds of people looking at the building,” Georgiou tells PA Media. “The question is, what do I do with it now? What am I meant to do with it now? I definitely plan on keeping it on there and letting people enjoy it. Everyone’s loving it, which is great.”

Get the latest stories in your inbox every weekday.