The Scottish-Swedish couple on the landscapes that inspire their work
When Mick Manning was in Sweden last year, at the holiday home he shares with his wife, fellow artist and illustrator Brita Granstrom, he made an unusual discovery. He’d been fishing, catching perch for supper, and was on his way home through the forest when he came across a small woodsman’s shelter. “This is all sounding a bit Brothers Grimm,” says Brita, recounting the story, “but the door was open and inside, piled for kindling, were old blank documents – lists of equipment, and so on – from the Second World War era. My uncle knew the owner and so we asked permission and took a pile of ephemera home.”
During the week that followed, Mick spent his evenings making a variety of stencil and block prints on the found papers. The works are rooted in nature, both in Scotland and in their second home, Brita’s native Sweden. Her work too is anchored in nature, in her surroundings and her observation of everyday life. While the pair have very different styles, their union is cemented in the children’s books they write and illustrate together. They are joining forces once again, at Edinburgh’s Open Eye Gallery this spring, to celebrate their individual practice.
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Photography Diana Pappas
Words Catherine Coyle