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Innominate Tarn: A Special Place

Innominate Tarn: A Special Place

/ Wednesday 5th of September, 2018

"All I ask for, at the end, is a last long resting place by the side of Innominate Tarn, on Haystacks, where the water gently laps the gravelly shore and the heather blooms and Pillar and Gable keep unfailing watch.”

                                                                             ~ Alfred Wainwright, ‘Memoirs of a Fellwanderer’ (1993)


A spectacular painting with a special story, Edward Hersey’s newest work depicts the majesty of ‘Innominate Tarn’, a favourite place of celebrated fell-walker and author Alfred Wainwright. So favoured in fact, that Wainwright chose the tarn as his final resting place, having his ashes scattered along its shores, so that he may accompany the many fellwalkers who trace his steps.

When he encountered the tarn en route to the Haystacks summit in the Lake District’s Western Fells, Wainwright was puzzled to find that it did not appear on his ordinance survey map. Hidden in plain sight beneath Haystacks, the tarn was a quiet oasis, emerging as if from nowhere, 520 metres above sea-level. As a result, Wainwright named the tarn ‘Innominate’, meaning “without a name”, quite literally putting it on the map in his seminal, seven-volume guide ‘A Pictorial Guide to the Lakeland Fells’.

Back in the present, Edward Hersey deftly captures the timeless and poetic quality of Innominate Tarn. With a rich autumnal palette, Hersey realises the unique charm of the Lakeland fells, enclosing the tranquil tarn and its reflection of the dark majestic summit. If we stand close enough, we may almost feel the affirming, fragrant autumn breeze as it whips down from the fells.   

Entirely inaccessible by car, Wainwright’s last wishes to be scattered on a high and distant fell is also a mischievous reminder to both appreciate the phenomenal beauty of the natural world and of course, to walk it. With Edward Hersey’s ‘Innominate Tarn’ we can most certainly respect the former of Wainwright’s legacy, and with such a tangible reminder hung above the mantelpiece, who could not be inspired to tramp the highways and byways of England’s most romantic landscapes?


You can view Edward Hersey's 'Innominate Tarn' here.