Artist marks anniversary of Banksy's 'spraycation'

Artist Samuel Thomas with one of his Banksy-inspired works. 

Artist Samuel Thomas with one of his Banksy-inspired works. - Credit: Supplied by Samuel Thomas

Twelve months on from when street artist Banksy left his mark on East Anglia, a north Norfolk painter has created two works inspired by the questions it raised. 

Samuel Thomas, who grew up in Cromer and now lives in Norwich, said he wanted to delve deeper into the issues raised by Banksy's 'Great British Spraycation' tour.

Mr Thomas said: "There are still many unanswered questions surrounding the problems Banksy highlighted. One key question on a personal level is: How do we manage to remain positive and optimistic in our mindset when bigger and more devastating problems show up in our lives continually?"

On August 13 last year, Banksy confirmed he was behind the works which had popped up in spots including Cromer, Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth

The Cromer work - sprayed onto a sea wall on the town's eastern beach - depicts a series of 'homeless' crabs facing another holding a sign saying 'luxury rentals only'.

Artist Samuel Thomas with one of his Banksy-inspired works. 

Artist Samuel Thomas with one of his Banksy-inspired works. - Credit: Supplied by Samuel Thomas

One of Mr Thomas' paintings shows the moon lingering over Cromer at night, with the question 'Banksy?' written on the same sea wall the street artist used.

The other work shows a similar view of the town, along with a girl losing a heart-shaped balloon - inspired by a famous Banksy work.

Mr Thomas said he thought the Banksy works had a deeper meaning than was apparent at first glance, and he wanted to draw attention to what he thought lay beneath the surface. 

One of Samuel Thomas's Banksy-inspired works. 

One of Samuel Thomas's Banksy-inspired works. - Credit: Supplied by Samuel Thomas

One of Samuel Thomas's Banksy-inspired works. 

One of Samuel Thomas's Banksy-inspired works. - Credit: Supplied by Samuel Thomas

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He added: "Banksy highlighted many political, economic and social problems in his spray paintings of 2021 along the Norfolk and Suffolk coast, but many of us got caught up in the less fundamental question of who was behind these paintings in the first place.

"If we learn to foster a positive mindset we learn to look at problems as temporary challenges. We learn to look for the lessons to learn from setbacks or gain perspective by understanding conflicting sides of an argument.

"One all-consuming problem that faces many people at the moment is the rising cost of living, an issue that forces many to dig deep to figure out the solutions to living with less."