I like the work of Mind Control very much, although the theme of his pieces often carry an underlying threat of violence, which I am not so keen on, and this piece in the gloom of St Werburghs tunnel is one of those pieces.
It turns out though, that it is a tribute piece to a young man called Josh Schoolar who died last year, in Manchester. Josh was an activist who had been out to Syria (joining the International Freedom Battalion) to fight against Isis, and this piece is painted from a photograph of Josh from that time.
In his memory, Josh Schoolar’s family set up an annual fund of £300 for an up and coming young street artist, and Mind Control was the first recipient of this award, and painted this tribute piece as a thank you.
I have learned that it is important to understand what lies behind a piece of artwork as well as simply seeing what is in front of you. This is not a violent piece at all, but a fond and heartfelt recognition of a young life lost.