banksy heron The Banksy crane: not your typical street art


Never let it be said that Banksy doesn't experiment. The street art king's latest piece is an origami crane painted on a wall in a sleepy coastal down in Dorset.

No, we wouldn't have believed it either, but the creation has appeared on his official website - the stamp of authenticity Banksy fans wait for whenever a new stencil appears.

The crane, which holds a goldfish in its mouth, was spotted on the side of a building on a country path next to the River Lym in Lyme Regis.

Aside from the unusually rural setting, the crane contains none of the wry social or political undertones that characterizes most of Banksy's work, including his other most recent piece, the sweatshop worker child making bunting on the side of a London Poundland.

See also:

All of which leads us to wonder: is this Banksy turning over a new leaf as an artist?

The crane is a bird with a rich history of symbolism around the world, not least of all in the home of origami.

Japanese folklore believes the crane lives for 1,000 year and is a symbol of happiness, good luck and peace.

Perhaps, then, it's a simply an expression of pastoral joy, a love letter to the British countryside. Maybe, just maybe, Banksy is turning from political satire to a form of street art romanticism.

Will Ellsworth-Jones, author of the new Banksy biography The Man Behind the Wall, told HuffPost UK that he didn't know what to make of the meaning behind the crane, but described it as an unusual and highly accomplished piece.

"It's actually a very difficult stencil to do. Look at the way it's been designed to reflect in the water," he said.

"A lot of thought gone into it. It just goes to show what a master of the stencil Banksy is."

Either way, his efforts will be welcomed by the people of Lyme Regis. New artworks by Banksy have been known to raise house prices, not to mention give the local tourist industry a welcome boost.

Do you have any ideas about the meaning of the origami crane? Give us your views below.

Loading Slideshow...
  • The Oscars refused to let Banksy come incognito to the ceremony in which his documentary Entry Through the Gift Shop was nominated because it was too much of a security risk.

  • Banksy says "I am unable to comment on who may or may not be Banksy, but anyone described as being 'good at drawing' doesn't sound like Banksy to me"

  • It's said that his agent isn't even quite sure of his identity

  • Celebrity owners of his art include Christina Aguilera and Angelina Jolie

  • One of the first conventional exhibitions of his art was held in a warehouse in 2000, but Banksy gave out only the street number for the building and not the street.

  • In September of 2006, Banksy inserted 500 fake CDs into the sleeves of Paris Hilton's debut release, at music retailers in several U.K. cities. Buyers bought his remixes of Hilton's songs, which were tagged with new titles, including - "Why Am I Famous?".

  • It is said his parents believe he is a painter and decorator rather than a successful artist.

  • The son of a photocopier engineer, he might have trained as a butcher but became involved in graffiti during the Bristol aerosol boom of the late 1980s.

  • In support of a Bristol anti Tesco demonstration he released a print which showed a smoking petrol bomb in a Tesco Value bottle

  • In August 2004, Banksy produced spoof British £10 notes changing the picture of the Queen to one of Diana, Princess of Wales's head and changing the text to 'Banksy of England'