Girl With Red Balloon: Banksy

Did you know?

Although there has been a great deal of speculation over the years, Banksy’s true identity has never been revealed.

Girl With Red Balloon: Banksy


  • The first version of the design appeared on Waterloo Bridge, London in 2002.
  • A stencil design, the image of a girl and a bright red balloon has since appeared in many different forms around the United Kingdom.
  • It is often interpreted as representing innocence, hope and love.
  • In 2004, it appeared on a shop in Shoreditch, London. It was removed and sold for £500,000 in 2005.
  • After appearing in Shoreditch, it was then released as a print, with only 750 in the world.
  • The original was accompanied with the quote ‘There is always hope’, and subsequent appearances have shown a variety of political and provocative phrases.


  • 70x50cm
  • Originals and graffiti designs were achieved with a stencil and spray paint
  • Prints were stencil on canvas, screen printed.

Present Day

  • In 2018, a signed print went to auction and was sold for £1,042,000. Moments after the winning bid, the artwork began to self destruct, going through a shredder hidden in the frame.
  • The woman who won the bidding at the auction decided to go through with the purchase. The partially shredded work has been given a new title, Love Is in the Bin
  • In July 2017, a Samsung poll of 2,000 people from the United Kingdom asked participants to rank twenty pieces of British art. The poll’s results listed Balloon Girl as the people’s number one favourite artwork.


  • Banksy is an anonymous England based street artist, vandal, political activist, and film director.
  • Banksy’s name and identity remain unconfirmed and the subject of speculation, although there are many theories on who the artist is.
  • Other works include ‘Show me the Monet’, ‘Draw the raised bridge’ and the film ‘Exit through the gift shop’.
  • Girl With Red Balloon – Waterloo Bridge, London.

  • A short film about the artist Banksy

  • Banksy’s framed print that began to shred at the auction

Learning resources

Example Questions

  • Where did the first design of ‘Girl with Red Balloon’ by the artist known as Banksy appear?

  • Where was Lowry born?

  • What is the alternative name for the Mona Lisa?

  • What was the new title given to a print of ‘Girl with Red Balloon’ after the 2018 auction?

  • How long did Lowry take to complete ‘Going To Work’?

  • Can you name two other notable pieces of art by Leonardo Da Vinci?

  • What nickname is given to the people who appear in Lowry’s paintings, due to the distinctive style they are painted in?

  • Where is the Mona Lisa displayed currently?

  • Which of the three pieces of art studied was voted ‘number one favourite artwork’ by the British public?

Graduate Award links:

Pupils who wish to become Graduates in the available study topics can elect to study at home and in school during their own time, taking the Graduate Test when they know they are ready.

Upon graduation, they will receive a badge which they can wear on their school uniform with pride.

This will further demonstrate to their peers, parents, visitors and the wider community just how dedicated they are to their studies.