The Stencil: Stop and Search by Banksy
If I had to pick my favourite Banksy artwork of all time, it would probably be this one, so I was really excited to work on this image and it was probably the shoot I was looking forward to the most.
This piece was released as part of Banksy’s ‘Santa’s Ghetto’ art exhibition which was held in Bethlehem in 2007. 500 prints were released of the image, all signed by Banksy.
Living in New Zealand has a few advantages, including relatively easy access to some pretty cool locations like the one in this photo. I had planned on doing this shoot in spot I had found elsewhere, but a few days before the shoot, while we were out walking, we stumbled across this amazing location (Sandford Park Forest) about 5 minutes out of town. Complete with awesome trees and a cool windy path that would make a perfect yellow
brick road, we came back and shot this image during the second weekend of shoots.
This was quite an expensive image to produce because there are so many props and wardrobe pieces in the original art work that I had to source from various places.
- The police helmet, boots and baton were all hired for the weekend from a Army surplus shop in Auckland
- I had to buy the British Police pants, navy Dickies shirt and had the ex issue police belt + pouches from a couple of the other shoots in this project.
- The light blue socks and gloves were ridiculously difficult to find… and I ended up getting the light blue surgical gloves from a local dental practice that was kind enough to help me out.
- I went to just about every costume hire place in Hamilton trying to find a decent Dorothy dress, and ended up buying one online for this shoot, but it when it arrived, it was too slutty so I ended up having to hire this one anyway.
- Being such a fan of the Wizard of Oz, I had bought myself the replica ruby slippers a few years ago, which were custom made in the USA.
- I found this really cool ‘Kansas Police’ patch on ebay; you can’t really see it in the main photo, but I like every little detail in my photos to be as perfect as possible.
This shoot was really fun, and had the largest number of people involved. Most of my shoots are pretty low key and it’s usually just the model and I but occasionally I have a helper or two to hold things or help me carry the gear to and from the locations.
At the exhibition, a lot of people thought I had photoshopped the dog in.. but the dog was actually one of my ‘models’ (see above)! The final image is a composite of a couple of images though, one of the models looking perfect, and the others were used to shift the dog in the right position on the footpath.
While I was doing the research for this image, I discovered that the dog that played ‘Toto’ in the movie was a Cairn Terrior, so I went on to Trade Me (NZ’s version of ebay) and found a breeder who lived about 2 hours away from Hamilton. She was super, super helpful and said she would come along and be a part of the project. The dog’s name was ‘Juliet’ and she was preggers with her last litter of puppies when we shot this image.
I probably spent more time working on this image in post production than any other image in this project. The path was recoloured in Photoshop, and I wanted the overall image to have a sort of ‘technicolour’ feel to it like the original film did, so it is more saturated than some of the other images in this project and some elements of the edit were inspired by this photograph by Annie Leibovitz for Disney.
The models were lit with the b1600 and the Octabox (see ‘Gear’ page for more info).
And this post, marks the end of the Banksy releases! I have a couple of images left, but I will save them for another occasion (like an exhibition or something). I would just like to take this opportunity to say thank you very much to everybody who took the time to look at these images, read my blog posts, share the photographs, or write nice things about my work. I am immensely proud of this project, and have really enjoyed being able to finally share it with you all, so thank you very much for being a part of that.