Canadian cartoonist and Banksy are two of a kind
AN artist and cartoonist claims she has spotted similarities between her work and that of Bristol’s Banksy.
Cinders McLeod says pieces by the world-renowned street artist – including his cover for a Blur album – bear a striking resemblances to 16 of her works.
Ms McLeod is a former freelance cartoonist who produced a series of works for the Glasgow Herald.
They accompanied articles entitled ‘Traveller’s Checks’ and ‘Words of the Week’, published between 1997 and 2001.
Cinders moved back to Canada before Banksy became a household name. But after watching a TV feature about him and going to an exhibition she was struck by the similarities between his work and her own.
Cinders says 16 of her works predate Banksy’s, including his ‘Think Tank’, ‘Bomb Middle England’, ‘Bomb Hugger’ and ‘ Armoured Dove of Peace’.
She says her creations covered subjects such as people hugging bombs, grannies bowling bombs and people in deep sea diving masks hugging… years before his.
Ms McLeod said: “Banksy didn’t get famous until after I left Britain but, being a political cartoonist, I was aware of him.
“I should have seen the Blur album cover, but I didn’t. I long gave up being current in the arts and music scene after my two children were born in 1993 and 1996, when my focus switched to providing for them.
“I bought tickets to the Toronto Banksy exhibition to go with my daughter. At the exhibition I saw five images that bore strong similarities to my illustrations, including the Blur CD cover.
“After some online research, I found another 11 ideas, in varying degrees of similarity, but enough to make me wonder if my work had been tear sheets in Banksy’s image bank, and believe that I had heavily influenced a lot of his early work.
“And the night before, I saw an exhibition snippet on TV and thought, ‘ Oh, that looks like my Anarchic Granny’.
Her cartoon, published on April 14, 1999, showed an old lady playing boules with a bomb. She says it is much like Banksy’s stencil, named ‘Bomb Middle England’, which showed three elderly women with bombs instead of bowling balls.
Ms McLeod noticed further similarities between her work and Banksy’s. She believes her cartoon ‘Cupid’s Bomb’, showing a cherub hugging a bomb painted with love hearts and published on June 10, 2000, bears a striking resemblance to Banksy’s ‘ Bomb Hugger’ stencil, showing a girl with a ponytail hugging a bomb. It first appeared on a mural in Brighton in 2003.
Ms McLeod also believes Banksy’s cover for Britpop classic Think Tank, showing two lovers embracing while wearing diving helmets, was influenced by her illustration ‘Deep Sea Lovers’, which accompanied an article in the Herald on March 15, 1997.
And Ms McLeod believes another famous Banksy work, ‘ Armoured Dove’, showing a dove wearing a bullet-proof vest, is like her work of a dove wearing a Nato bomb.
The connection between the drawings, published in newsprint in a pre-internet age, and Banksy’s stencils raises the possibility he may have spent periods of time in Glasgow.
One of Banksy’s first exhibitions was at now-defunct Glasgow nightclub The Arches, in 2001 – the year Ms McLeod returned to Toronto.
She said: “I would guess Banksy lived in Glasgow for a while between 1997 and 2001 or visited regularly.”
The Blur album cover bearing Banksy’s design, top, and Ms McLeod’s ‘Deep Sea Lovers’, which was published in1997
Artist Cinders McLeod