A British School That Named One Of Its Houses After Banksy Got Surprised With A Mural

Ten points for Banksy!

WHAT: Overnight, a mural appeared at Bridge Farm primary school in Bristol, England painted by Banksy that shows a stick-figure drawing of a child leaving a schoolhouse to chase after a tire on fire.


WHO: Banksy, obviously, and the primary school that renamed its four houses after a series of famous people with deep ties to the port community of Bristol–picking not just Banksy, but also famed pirate Blackbeard (who’s believed to have been born in Bristol), Italian explorer John Cabot (whose 15th-century trips to the New World departed from Bristol), and engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel (who built much of the city’s infrastructure).

WHY WE CARE: Banksy just dropping a new mural in the middle of the night is neat–and the note he sent with it, urging the primary school students to “feel free to add stuff” to it if they don’t like it because “it’s always easier to get forgiveness than permission” is pretty cute. (The school’s headmaster told the Guardian that the students would not be allowed to act on the suggestion, but, again, forgiveness/permission…) It’s also charming to learn that school house names are a real thing in England and not just, like, a Harry Potter thing. Banksy’s embrace of the school’s enthusiasm for his work is pretty great, and rewarding the school with a mural is a nice show of appreciation–and inspiration, for budding young artists. Also, it’s impressive as hell that students who find themselves sorted into a house named after friggin’ Blackbeard the Pirate could end up in the second coolest house in the school.

About the author

Dan Solomon lives in Austin with his wife and his dog. He's written about music for MTV and Spin, sports for Sports Illustrated, and pop culture for Vulture and the AV Club.