The Story behind Agent Starling’s European Howl Cover Art

The story behind the remarkable European Howl artwork by fine artist Anna Kirk-Smith


We have had lots of lovely comments about our spectacular European Howl starling and hurdy-gurdy art work. The cover was created by fine artist Anna Kirk-Smith. Anna, a graduate of the Royal College of Art, and a previous Head of BA(Hons) Fine Art at Hull School of Art & Design told us about how she developed the idea for the cover.

“Whilst standing at my studio window watching the shrieking pitch battle of starlings tussling for a beakful of mealwormed suet, the thought came to me that what this species and hurdy-gurdys have in common is that once they get going, they are both impossible to ignore. They audibly and visually own the space they inhabit. It was at this point I decided that the album cover I had been asked to design was going to be a simple face-off between the two personalities.

Both have a sense of understated…

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