Sunday, April 12, 2020

Something To Look At: Anna Koska, Mick Manning, and Helen Hunt

It's a strange sort of Easter Sunday here, peaceful, and glorious weather - but solitary. I've not been watching much television, obviously not been going out, and there's nobody to swap eggs with so I haven't really registered Easter this year. In food/wine retail it's normally the second busiest time of year after Christmas and I'd be lucky to get the Sunday and Monday off. I'm missing my family, but enjoying the quiet of this year, and thinking for the first time that it's okay to let go of some traditions.

I also thought I'd finish up this week of art with an egg theme to honour the day and the season. First is Helen Hunt who is a recent discovery for me. Her Instagram (@bird_in_the_hand7) is full of lovely images of her own work and photography, and is good for pointing you in the direction of other interesting work to look at. There is a website here. Currently she's posting exquisite pebble studies, but if you go back a bit there are birds, eggs, hares and more. She is well worth a look.

Anna Koska is best known for her work as an illustrator, her Instagram is a great mix of her work, bee keeping, gardening, and country based life. She is @gremkoska on twitter too, and just as delightful there. Amongst other things she paints eggs, life size, in egg tempera. I asked her to do a Curlew egg for me a couple of years ago as a present for my father which I really wish I could have kept. It was exquisite. I think I'm right in saying she also did the oyster on the label of one of my favourite whiskies (Douglas Laing's Rock Oyster, a dram that's a perfect mix of sweet and coastal salty) which is as close as I currently am to owning a bit of her work for myself. One day I'll have something I can put on the wall.

I've been following Mick Manning on Instagram for a while. It's a great feed for bird images, dogs, and other artists represented by St Jude's Prints - another tempting place to poke around on a slow day, and brilliantly for an online gallery you can search by price.* Amongst other things Manning has a series of egg images, sometimes printed onto various bits of ephemera which I really like - but see for yourself.

*A lot of artists websites don't give prices, and whilst I understand some of the reasons for this it can also be deeply frustrating trying to work out if something is within my budget or not, worth saving for, or nice to look at but above my touch.


  1. Thank you for writing about these artists. I too like art depicting birds. I once bought a few postcards, by Lisa Hooper and Robert Gillmor, at Avocet Gallery in Rye Harbour. I framed them and have been enjoying them ever since.

    1. My view could be worse, but it's not especially inspiring so I find its really important to me to have things I like to look at on the wall. It started with exhibition posters and postcards and has grown from there. Generally I'd rather buy a picture than go on holiday or out for dinner. I'm finding Instagram (my feed is full of knitting, nature, and artists) a really good place to escape to right now too.