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Mysterious street artist Stik raises money for London hospital

When she's not writing, Claire Gillespie can most often be found wiping snotty noses, picking up Lego, taking photos of her cat or doing headstands.

Patients with serious brain injuries will benefit from graffiti artist's latest work 'Sleeping Baby'

From SheKnows UK
The latest work from elusive street artist Stik is more than an eye-catching modern mural. It has raised £50,000 for Hackney’s Homerton hospital, the building it is painted on.

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“Sleeping Baby” is typical of the artist’s signature style: large scale stick-figures with thick black lines and blocks of bright colour. It’s a permanent fixture on the outside wall of the hospital and 100 silkscreen prints of the image have raised funds for the Regional Neurological Rehabilitation Unit.

The unit works with Alzheimer’s sufferers and those with serious brain injuries, giving them art classes as part of their therapy. “They’re given this chance to recontact those parts of their mind which were lost, and regain a kind of inner life,” said the once-homeless artist Stik. “Otherwise they would be just sitting in a bed somewhere, waiting for their brain to heal: this is an active healing process.”

According to the artist himself, “Sleeping Baby” is representative of the NHS and he hopes it will help galvanise people to fight against its privatisation. “The NHS is our baby,” he told The Guardian. “It is very vulnerable, and we the people need to take care of it. We’ve created it, by the people for the people. We can’t let it be cut up and sold off, that would be barbaric. Privatising the NHS is an abominable idea — suffering is not a commodity to be bought and sold.”

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Patients with serious brain injuries will benefit from graffiti artist's latest work 'Sleeping Baby'
Image: Ben Pruchnie/Entertainment/Getty Images

While Stik isn't as secretive as fellow street artist Banksy, he never reveals any personal details about himself and always hides his eyes with oversized glasses. His most famous work is also Britain's largest mural: the 125-feet high "Big Mother" on the side of Charles Hocking House in west London — a block of flats scheduled for demolition in 2016.

Each of Stik's London pieces is a political (with a small p) commentary on the changing face of the city. “The figures that I draw are representing marginalised communities and have a certain dispossessed feeling about them,” he told The Guardian.

More: Banksy's murals in war-torn Gaza send a strong message about Americans

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