Since the first major Banksy piece in Fitzrovia on adjacent Newman Street was painted over by Westminster Council it is only a matter of time before Toothfish disappears too – but this apparently is the whole point.
The artwork is not permanently attached and people are encouraged to remove the posters, relocate and recycle them to create or find by accident some context and meaning between the scene and the poster, with a request to document this by taking a photograph and passing the images on to toothfish.org.
This campaign to raise awareness of environmental concerns both local and global has appeared in Australia, Brazil, India, New Zealand, Ukraine, the USA, and now in London. The slogan “The War Against Nature is Over!” was particularly pertinent when posted in Japan just before the recent tsunami.
They also highlight historic buildings under threat in a focused interactive project that links in to spotlighting global issues.
The toothfish is a fish native to the seas around Antarctica and is a species under threat. Greenpeace have a campaign to raise awareness of the toothfish. So it seems the plight of the toothfish has become a symbol for an international campaign: a poster child representing the threat to the natural world from human activity.