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Tessa Hunkin’s Haggerston Mosaic

September 18, 2023
by the gentle author


Starting in 2013, Spitalfields Life Books published 15 books over 6 years until the pandemic shut us down. Now we are ready to begin again and we are inspired by a string of new titles that we have ready to publish.

We are launching a crowdfund to raise enough money to cover production of our next 3 books, then income from sales of these will permit us to continue and publish more.




Today we preview Tessa Hunkin’s book


Tessa Hunkin and Hackney Mosaic Project have created breathtakingly beautiful and witty mosaics in locations all across the East End over the past ten years. In the process, Tessa has won the reputation as the pre-eminent mosaic designer in this country while leading a community endeavour that has elevated the lives of hundreds of participants.

“A beautiful book about Hackney Mosaic Project will be the best reward for all the people who have worked on the mosaics, bringing their achievement to a wider public and giving them the recognition they so well deserve.”

Tessa Hunkin

If you are seeking a destination for your walk you can do no better than directing your footsteps towards Haggerston where Tessa Hunkin & Hackney Mosaic Project‘s largest mosaic is installed on the Acton Estate.

Eight months of work by Tessa and her team reached its spectacular culmination when mosaic specialist Walter Bernadin laboured from early morning to install their masterpiece before the sun reached its full heat. Funded by the developers who have redeveloped part of the post-war estate, the mosaic forms the centrepiece to the shopping parade at the heart of the neighbourhood which takes its name from Nathaniel Acton who owned the land in the eighteenth century.

Drawing inspiration from Haggerston’s rural past, Tessa’s design evokes the natural world, illustrating the farm animals and fruit trees that once were here. A closer study reveals hidden initials of local people who were each responsible for different aspects of the work – the animals, plants and birds.

Quickly, a small crowd of residents gathered to admire the new mosaic, appreciative of its lyrical finesse and elegant detail which alleviate the surrounding acres of paving, concrete and brick. Everyone was heartened and uplifted to witness this flourishing of creativity and community spirit, enhancing the urban environment for years to come. It is a symbol of renewal.

The mosaic can be found outside 224 Haggerston Rd, E8 4HT

Mosaic expert Walter Bernadin at work on the installation

Tessa Hunkin surveys her work in progress

Walter checks for missing pieces

Tessa places the final mosaic tile

THE HACKNEY MOSAIC PROJECT is seeking commissions, so if you would like a mosaic please get in touch

You may also like to read about

The Mosaic Makers of Hoxton

The Hounds of Hackney Downs

The Cats of Hackney Downs

The Hoxton Varieties Mosaic

The Mosaic Makers of Hackney Downs

The Award-Winning Mosaic Makers of Hackney

The Queenhithe Mosaic

Hackney Mosaic Project at London Zoo

At the Garden of Hope

The Haggerston Mosaic was created with the participation of Ken Edwards, James Johnson, Nicky Turner, John Friedman, David Lilley, Janice Dressler, Bernard Allen, Mary Helena, Linda Green, Elspeth Worsley, Mark Muggeridge, Shaz, Tessa Nowell, Sheri Lalor, Gabi Liers, Jackie Ormond, Dani Evans, Frances Whitehouse, Rose Woolmer & Jeremy Maddison.

Special thanks to Denise Bingham of the Residents & Tenants Association who fought to have the mosaic on the Acton Estate.

6 Responses leave one →
  1. Marnie permalink
    September 18, 2023

    Exquisite. Many thanks to Tessa and her team, the mosaic specialist, and the corporate funders for enabling the creation of this unique modern mosaic.

    In a century hence, future ‘Time Team’ archeologists will be overjoyed when their trusty trowels uncover this and other works by Tessa Hunkin et. al.

    I hope her masterpieces will be protected by vandal-proof coverings similar to those protecting the stained glass windows of churches and cathedrals. Nothing is sacred or safe any more.

  2. Sally permalink
    September 18, 2023

    What a masterpiece! The colours and design are so characterful and beautifully done. I love it. Who wouldn’t?

  3. Esther Rank permalink
    September 18, 2023

    I remember coming across this beautiful mosaic purely by chance whilst waiting for a Covid vaccination at the Haggerston Pharmacy. It is superb and I very much look forward to the Hackney Mosaic Project book.

  4. September 18, 2023

    I have made so many discoveries thanks to Spitalfields Life, and although it is impossible to have a favorite……….the Mosaic artists have stolen my heart. Their work contains so many cross
    currents. The artform of mosaics, itself, evokes ancient references……and yet their work is so fresh and contemporary. The way they skillfully include type forms — masterful! The depictions of animals are so humane and appealing. And the beautiful color choices are so sensitive and effective. For me, they bring together so many grace notes — graphic design, outdoor installation, public art, story-telling, and artistry. I can honestly say that I cannot WAIT for a whole book about these incredible artists!

    Thank you, GA for shining a light. Well-done, all.

  5. Cherub permalink
    September 18, 2023

    This is just the loveliest piece of public art.

  6. Eve permalink
    September 21, 2023

    .. wonderful artwork commemorating the historical natural roots of the area & the estate’s namesake. It’s also heartening to see communal effort in tandem with the developers funding of the project – Great job all round!

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