As a mother from West Yorkshire who usually earns a living painting children’s rooms with Disney characters, Rachel List wasn’t expecting international attention this year.
But adapting her work during the pandemic led to worldwide attention after speculation that her work was in fact by street artist Banksy.
The 29-year-old self-employed artist from Pontefract found her income affected when she was unable to go inside other people’s houses to paint, so she took to the streets on her daily exercise to draw murals outside of people’s houses.
“Unknowingly, a small act to lift morale got my work out there nationally. You never know what’s around the corner”, she told The Big Issue.
Rachel first painted an NHS banner for a local business and has since created artwork all over the local area, including health workers dressed as superheroes and one of Captain Tom Moore — the war veteran who raised more than £32m for the NHS in lockdown. Rumours spread that Banksy had been to Pontefract and painted the eye-catching designs.
The pandemic has been hard for artists of nearly every discipline as exhibition spaces and venues close because of coronavirus restrictions.