Bomb Middle England, 2003
Edition: 500 (50 signed)
‘People who get up early in the morning cause war, death and famine.’
Bomb Middle England shows three middle-aged ladies playing boules on a strip of grass created from two horizontal planes of green, the only elements of color in an otherwise muted palette. At closer look, the viewer can notice the boule balls are no other than cannonballs, with lit fuses.
In fact, those ladies seem to be enjoying a game of petanque, a traditional afternoon activity for what could be described as the elite traditional older class. The composition is also a striking element of this horizontal print with a clear separation between the players at a safe distance from the lit fuses. One might say Banksy has chosen his side as he signed and numbered under the bombs…
Banksy thus illustrates how the elite and power in charge is believed to be indifferent to the violence and devastation of war, as they seem to throw bombs without a care. It also portrays a cynical parody of war as a game played by those in power who can decide to expend the lives of others and never suffer any of the consequences.
Banksy, Banging Your Head Against A Brick Wall, November 2001
Bomb Middle England first appeared as a mural spray-painted in Banksy’s hometown of Bristol. An earlier version, in spray-paint and acrylic on canvas, was sold in 2007 at Sotheby’s for GBP 107,000. At the time, it held the record set for an artwork by Banksy. Banksy did a few originals with this image.
Bomb Middle England
Medium: Screen-print in colors on wove paper
Size: 35×100 cm (13 5/8 x 39 inches)
Publisher: Pictures on Walls
Total Edition: 500
of which 50 prints are signed
Artist’s Proofs: 31 signed AP
A run of 31 Artist’s Proofs were released in 2005 for Lazarides Gallery.