Is mysterious artist 'The Hat' actually Ed Sheeran?

Two new paintings have pride of place in The Oyster Inn, Butley. They've been donated by the elusive and - as yet - unknown artist called The Hat.  

'Confusion' - one of the pieces donated to The Oyster Inn in Butley Credit: ITV Anglia

"They just appeared," explains pub worker Maisie McCarthy. "They were left in the garden area one night. We don't know when it happened.  I spotted the hat in one of the pictures and googled The Hat and found the artist's website."  

The paintings came with a handwritten note thanking the pub for providing free meals to vulnerable people during lockdown and offering the artwork for auction to raise money for charity.

Butley's info point has been decorated by The Hat Credit: ITV Anglia

A few weeks later, just outside the pub, the village's information board was decorated with political artwork donated by the mysterious artist to the village.  

The identity of The Hat is unknown, but there are rumours it could be Ed Sheeran.  The singer-songwriter posted pictures on social media of his artistic endeavours saying he'd spent weeks since his tour ended painting.

Some say singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran could be The Hat Credit: @teddyspics

Ed's style is undoubtedly similar to The Hat's and that's got everyone - including super fan Maisie - wondering.

"I would absolutely love it to be Ed, but I have a feeling that it's not" she says.  "If it is him, please come down and have a pint. You can have a pint on me!"

A piece called 'Infection' has been donated to a local cafe in Dennington Credit: ITV Anglia

In the village of Dennington, another piece of art was left outside The Neathouse Café. Owner Vashti Mouncer was there at the time, but didn't see or hear anything.

"There was a parcel with a note on the front. I read the note and then opened it and found this inside", Vashti says. "I don't think it matters who the artist is.  I just think what the artist has done for Suffolk is a really nice thing to do."

Everyone is asking Who is The Hat? Credit: ITV Anglia

On their website The Hat claims to be a 62-year-old man living in Suffolk. 

Local art expert and gallery owner Monica Petzal has her own theories.  

"I think there are similarities between The Hat and Ed Sheeran's paintings," she says. "But these are very well-known and well-established techniques. One of my thoughts was that Ed is extremely friendly with the well-known artist Damian Hirst and that Damian Hirst may be involved in some way in this."

Ed Sheeran has posted photos of his paintings, which are similar in style to The Hat Credit: @teddyspics

The Hat has also donated two paintings to the EACH charity shop in Framlingham.

"We came into work one day and there they were on the doorstep with that note", explains deputy manager Cheryl Colgate. "I wouldn't like to speculate who the artist is but we have been looking on the internet. I think it's absolutely brilliant for someone to do something like this for these charities. It's wonderful."

This piece entitled 'Disquiet' was donated to EACH charity shop in Framlingham Credit: The Hat

The Hat has revealed on their website that they have left another piece of artwork at a charity shop in Holt. And hidden in the back of that painting is their true identity. So it may not be long until we find out who really is The Hat.