Banksy mural unveiled at Dreamland – and how it will help Oasis Domestic Abuse Service

The mural with Eddie Kemsley of Dreamland, Julian Usher of Red Eight Gallery and Claire Williams of Oasis Photo Frank Leppard

Banksy’s artwork Valentine’s Day Mascara has been unveiled today (June 9) at its new home at Dreamland Margate where it will stay for at least 12 months – possibly longer if a deal is sealed with one of the potential buyers.

The artwork originally appeared on a property in Margate’s Park Place on February 13. Removing the art was overseen by Red Eight Gallery which was called in by the artist owners of the property to deal with preservation and sale of the work.

A team of engineers, supported by an art conservator from Dargate, have worked to relocate the mural to Dreamland’s Roller Room area where it will open to the public on Sunday (June 11).

Photo Frank Leppard

The piece shows a woman with a swollen shut eye and missing tooth with a man’s legs poking out from a chest freezer, alongside an upturned chair and is a comment on domestic violence.

A beer bottle and frying pan that had been part of the installation are missing. It is understood the bottle was spotted on eBay and negotiations are taking place for the return of the frying pan.

The mural’s theme has seen a pledge to donate a six figure sum out of the expected £1.5-£2million sale price, to Oasis Domestic Abuse Service which has operated in Thanet for 30 years next year and expanded to North Kent and Medway in recent years.

The funding for Oasis will be used by the charity for preventative work aimed particularly at young people.

Photo Frank Leppard

Oasis CEO Claire Williams, who recently took over the role, said: “As a charity we are most keen for the finances to have the biggest impact.

“For me that is looking at prevention and what we offer to stop that cycle of abuse.

“It means working with a younger age group. Last year there was a significant increase in referrals of young people aged 16-25. We need to raise awareness, young people need to understand what healthy relationships are and abuse is not ok. The earlier we do that, the better.”

Photo Frank Leppard

The charity provides crisis intervention but also has outreach work, goes into schools and takes young people on activities when they may not have had those opportunities because of their home situation.

The model for refuge is changing as well. The large property Oasis used in Cliftonville has been vacated – Thanet council aims to use the site – and new properties that are more tailored to need are being bought after securing a £4.1million social investment. This will fund the purchase of 22 properties, providing 32 bed spaces for women, men and their families escaping domestic abuse.

Photo Dreamland

Oasis will buy 12 properties in Thanet, and another 10 properties in Medway, adding to their current portfolio of 20 managed properties.

Photo Frank Leppard

Claire (pictured above) said: “It might be accommodation for a single woman or man or it might be a house for a family, it is making sure we meet the needs of the individual.”

Claire says having the Banksy mural on show at Dreamland also offers the benefit of raising awareness.

She said: “It is also about raising awareness, for people to come and talk openly and removing the stigma and challenging it.”

Photo Dreamland

Dreamland has also now partnered with Oasis and will contribute towards funding with events and donations from park visitors.

Eddie Kemsley (right) at the unveiling Photo Frank Leppard

Dreamland CEO Eddie Kemsley said: “We thought a lots about the message and what Banksy is highlighting in terms of domestic abuse. The audiences we have are so varies with families, young people, people here for gigs and this is a real opportunity to get that message across. We aren’t expecting people to have that serious conversation while they are having a fun day out but it might be something they revisit later and it gives people the opportunity to open up that conversation about a difficult topic.

“Oasis is an amazing charity doing, sadly, much needed work.”

Photo Frank Leppard

Eddie says the park also seemed the perfect choice to host the street art, keeping it in Margate, and that it will be kept safe but is accessible

Julian Usher, from Red Eight Gallery, says there are conversations for several avenues for the sale of the work and the 12-month stay at Dreamland is stipulated.

He added: “There is one party who might extend that.”

Photo Dreamland

There are some challenges with the sale as Banksy confirms the work is his on Instagram and his website but  the management company has not issued a certificate of authentication. This means many auction houses won’t take on the sale and the piece may more likely be snapped up as part of a Banksy unofficial travelling exhibition.

He added: “This is one of the larger ones that have come to market although there are larger, for example the one at Dover was 7m sq, a phenomenal size.”

He added that Red Eight Gallery “hope to be able to make an announcement very soon.”

Oasis Domestic Abuse Service

Photo Frank Leppard

Oasis Domestic Abuse Service has been working with people affected by domestic abuse for nearly 30 years. The charity began with a handful of dedicated people opening a refuge service in 1994. Back then two women a week were being murdered as a result of abuse in the home. Sadly, that statistic remains the same today. Every day the charity’s staff are confronted with the distressing results of this issue on the lives of the adults and children whom they work for.

Today, Oasis delivers services for adults, children and young people affected by domestic abuse in East Kent, Medway and North Kent. The award-winning charity has built an innovative, committed approach to not only intervening, but also preventing these issues in the future. The Early Intervention Programme supports vulnerable children and young people, a dedicated schools programme teaches young people about healthy relationships and Oasis Consults equips and enables professionals in frontline services to understand and recognise signs of domestic abuse and trauma.

Getting in contact

Call Oasis’s helpline on 0800 917 9948
(Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday 09:30–11:30am, 12:30–2:30pm Thursday and Friday 09:30–11:30am, except bank holidays)

In an emergency, call 999

The hidden victims of domestic violence and the work of the Oasis service to help rebuild lives



  1. I’ve asked the question before but never got a satisfactory reply… how does Banksy feel about having his g̶r̶a̶f̶i̶t̶t̶i̶ art work moved?

    • Peter, instead of asking questions repeatedly on the comments section of IOTN don’t you read up about the artist and his anti-establishment stance? He paints in public for a reason, his art is for the people, not owned by him.

      • So you don’t think he approves of having a huge off-shore funded company like Dreamland owning it?

        Me neither.

        (And who’s Peter?)

        • If people had to pay to see it I doubt he’d be keen. But it’s free to come and see it at Dreamland. In your reading up on the artist you’ll discover the guy doesn’t do press, or give interviews or even identify himself so we won’t ever truly know.

  2. This isn’t the complete work. There was also a frying pan at the scene (presumably to reference the implement used by the woman to knock out the guy – it’s a classic motif of a domestic fight). However, the experts are oblivious to this fact.

    • The frying pan and beer bottles were taken. The bottles are on ebay, there are negotiations to get back the frying pan

      • The frying pan is the critical element, it’s the weapon used for the assault. The beer bottles were probably referencing the guy’s drinking so they’re important too.
        Given that details like this are very important in terms of understanding the full narrative of the artwork, I hope the piece is clearly indicated as being incomplete. Any responsible showing of the work would require this to be the case.

  3. If a young lad had sprayed paint on the side of this house he would of been charged with criminal damage. Yet this spray paint is priceless. We have more important issues in thanet to worry about than a bit of brickwork. What did it cost to finally get it to dreamland.

      • Peter, please share a link to the research you are citing, I’d like to see statistical proof of how Thanet feels about this subject.

      • You should check out Instagram Peter, seems there is a lot of love for this artwork being available for free at Dreamland. I’m very keen to see that research that you are citing that clearly indicates the opposite.

  4. It’s great it’s supporting such an important charity. So I commend that.

    However as an art piece it’s been compromised seriously. The plastic chair should be wooden…. There should be a frying pan and other associated chaos. It painted a very vivid picture. I’d also argue the fridge is slightly in a different place. It’s certainly lost a lot of its original impact.

  5. Is Dreamland becoming an art centre that people don’t want there a great cause to help oasis domestic violence works both ways how about the men who get beaten up by their wives even hit with frying pans are they forgotten no where men can go in those circumstances except on the streets homeless.

  6. This is worth repeating for our younger readers, the picture is a play on words, the painting was completed on the 14th February, St Valentines day. In the USA 1930’s two mobs of gangsters fell out and they shot each other up, and it became known as the “valentine days massacre” geddit, geddit! (Mascara, domestic abuse)

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