Cana­dian car­toon­ist and Banksy are two of a kind

Western Daily Press - - News - SARAH WARD & CRAIG WIL­LIAMS news@west­erndai­ly­

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

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