banksy has struck again, this time taking over the wall of england’s reading prison, an out-of-use institution which once held oscar wilde. the mural showcases an inmate making an escape over the jail’s wall, hanging from a rope made of knotted sheets attached to a typewriter.

 

banksy claimed the work on his website and instagram account on march 4th, releasing a video on youtube titled ‘create escape’. the nearly three minute long short film opens with a clip from the famous TV show of american painter and art instructor bob ross. in his signature soothing voice, ross goes on to narrate a variety of painting techniques to create an artwork about ‘freedom’, while simultaneously a video plays showing banksy working on the mural on site at night.

a suspected banksy mural has appeared on the walls of a prison in reading, england
images by zayyan amani

 

 

the jail hosted wilde as an inmate between 1895 and 1897 and the location was immortalized in the ballad of reading goal, a poem which reflected on the brutality of the penal system. the prison has been empty since 2014 but the new mural raises new questions on its future which might be that of turning it into an arts center.

a suspected banksy mural has appeared on the walls of a prison in reading, england

 

 

‘in the right hands, this gaol will evolve reading into an internationally recognized historical and cultural destination,’ toby davies, artistic director of reading’s rabble theater told the BBC. ‘dare I say it, it looks like banksy agrees.’

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Zayyan Property | Founder EPN (@zayyanamani)

 

 

project info:

 

name: banksy mural in reading prison

location: reading, UK