Three puzzling stone artworks have appeared in remote locations across the Lake District, causing locals to dub the anonymous artist as the “Borrowdale Banksy”.
For centuries the Lake District’s mountainous views have inspired artists from the Romantic painter J.M.W. Turner (1775-1851) and writer Beatrix Potter (1866-1943) to the Surrealist artist Leonora Carrington (1917-2011) and landscape painter Sheila Fell (1931-1979). Local sculptor Shawn Williamson said the most recent addition “really speaks of the Lake District and of all the traditional crafts woven into the natural landscape, so it’s incredibly mysterious.”
Ramblers have spotted the strange structures over the last few weeks at Castle Crag, Raven Crag, and on Dalehead. The large circular and semi-circular forms are thought to be made from slices of local stone. Constructed in secluded spots, the organic artworks act like picture frames through which visitors can glimpse the striking beauty of the landscape beyond.
The Borrowdale Institute shared photos of the structure online, describing the enigmatic artist as “a very talented patient individual”, who “has been very busy in lockdown”. The remarkable images quickly went viral.
Nigel Dixon, a trustee of the institute, explained “we just shared these photos because we were interested to find out who had done them, the photos weren’t taken by us. I wasn’t expecting the response that’s it’s getting; we’ve gained over 300 followers in the last 24 hours! We’re no closer to solving the mystery but if you do know the mysterious artist, get in touch.”
Professional mountaineers believe the artist must be a trained climber since the artworks are located in particularly inaccessible areas, some high up on mountain crags. Carl Halliday, a photographer and owner of a local mountaineering business, usually dislikes artists impacting the landscape with man-made structures. But this time it’s different, he explained “it seemed sensitive to the existing environment and complemented the already stunning views.”
The Lake District National Park Authority have not disclosed the exact locations of the artworks in order to prevent untrained walkers from visiting the relatively dangerous terrain. A spokesperson for the authority remarked “while the artist responsible remains a mystery to us, we know that our spectacular landscapes have inspired people for hundreds of years.”