Resident Dale Comley claimed he witnessed the elusive graffiti artist scoping out the location earlier in the week, whilst Comley enjoyed his morning cup of tea from his home.
“I saw a man in a high vis jacket leaning against the railings opposite – he was looking at the wall the whole time“, recalled Comley. “Then about an hour later I looked out and saw loads of people in the street“.
Entitled ‘Aachoo!!’, the stencil mural shows an elderly woman tightly holding onto a handkerchief as she dramatically sneezes out her false teeth. Her walking stick and handbag tumble to the floor as a result. In a photograph on his website, Banksy staged a wheelie bin and man’s umbrella as if they were being propelled away by the force of her sniffle.
According to locals, the mystery photographer was overheard proclaiming “it’s part of the gag isn’t it? He’s being blown back by the sneeze”.
Fred Loosmore, who recently lived in the house, quickly installed a covering to protect the artwork. “We wanted to come up because people will deface it, and luckily we’ve got a workshop and a massive piece of acrylic we’ve got left over”, Loosmore explained.
The semidetached house, now adorned with a Banksy, sits at the bottom of Vale Street – England’s steepest residential street with an incredible 22-degree slope. Each year the street is home to Bristol’s extremely popular Easter Sunday egg-rolling contest.
Banksy has remained active during the 2020 pandemic, painting a Hula-hooping girl on a Nottingham beauty salon in October, stencilling numerous sneezing rats on a London Underground carriage in July, and donating a commemorative artwork to Southampton Hospital in May.