Thursday, December 15, 2016

Moomins exhibition!

First major UK exhibition devoted to the Moomins opens tomorrow
Adventures in Moominland, Part of Nordic Matters
16 December 2016 – 23 April 2017
The world of acclaimed Finnish author Tove Jansson (1914‐2001) and her famous creation Family Moomintroll is brought to life in the UK’s first major exhibition devoted to the Moomins and the life of Tove Jansson at Southbank Centre from 16 December. Adventures in Moominland is an immersive and interactive exhibition that features recreations of scenes from Moominland and over 40 original drawings and archive materials from Tove’s studio in Helsinki and her family island of Klovharu. The show is part of Nordic Matters - a year-long exploration of Nordic art and culture at Southbank Centre throughout 2017.
Over half of the works and objects in the exhibition are shown in the UK for the first time including the very earliest Moomintroll dolls to be sold commercially, Tove’s painting palette and painting utensils and flower headdress. Some of the earliest representations of a Moomin - appearing as a motif on the cover of the satirical magazine GARM that Tove contributed to and in a loose watercolour sketch of a small black figure sailing into the sunset - are featured. Guided tours of the immersive show include an audio narrative voiced by Sandi Toksvig and written by children’s author Laura Dockrill.  
The exhibition explores how several of the Moomin stories, such as Comet in Moominland (1946) andMoominland Midwinter (1957) were written against the backdrop of political and socio-economic change in Finland and heavily influenced by Tove’s relationships with family, friends and lovers which defined the narrative and character development. Written during a time of hardship in the wake of WWII, the tolerant world of Moominvalley offered a refuge from the harshness of reality. Although the stories often saw the Moomins fleeing from danger, Tove ensured that there was always a happy and uplifting ending.
Tove explored her art and own sexuality within the confines of this changing political landscape - and her friends, enemies, fears and hopes often found themselves manifested in the complex and emotional stories.  One drawing on display depicts Thingumy and Bob, who represent Tove and her lover, Vivica Bandler - a married woman with whom Tove had a brief and passionate affair. At the time, same sex relationships were illegal in Finland and so the relationship had to be kept secret.
Adventures in Moominland reveals - through a short animated interpretation by artist Elizabeth Hobbs created exclusively for the show -  that Moomintroll began life as a character to be feared, inspired by stories told to her by her uncle. Tove’s first drawing of a Moomin was made when she was a young woman during an argument about Kant with her brother Per Olov. She drew the ugliest figure that she could on the interior wall of a family outhouse. Moomintroll was later refined, became the character we know today and was joined by a host of other characters including Moominmama, Moominpapa, Snufkin, Sniff, Snork Maiden and Little My.
The exhibition explores the influence of the Nordic landscape within the Moomin books, from the dense forests of Moominvalley to a canvas tent on the water’s edge in Finland and the snowy, Winter landscape represented inMoominland in Midwinter (1957). The show includes a preparatory watercolour sketch for the cover of the book. In recognition of Tove’s love of jazz, the exhibition includes a jazz soundtrack composed by Aki Rissanen and commissioned by Southbank Centre.
Sophia Jansson, niece of Tove Jansson, said: "Tove's work was very much inspired by her life experience - both on the highly personal level of her close relationships and more generally in terms of the influence of Finnish society, politics, lifestyle and landscapes. Southbank Centre's approach of combining archive objects from Tove's home and studio with immersive worlds straight from the pages of the Moomin books is the perfect way to tell the story of how this artist and her creations developed in conjunction with one another."
Paul Denton, Producer, Southbank Centre, said: “Tove Jansson’s work is beloved throughout the world by children and adults alike, and we’re delighted to be able to introduce a new generation to the magical world of the Moomins through this new immersive exhibition.”
The Moomin books explored in the show include Moomins and the Great Flood (1945), Comet in Moominland(1946), Finn Family Moomintroll (1948), Moomin Midwinter (1957) and Moominpapa at Sea (1965). Original Moomin comic strips by Tove will be displayed in Southbank Centre’s Archive Studio in Royal Festival Hall until February 2017. The comic strips were first published in the London Evening News - later absorbed into the London Evening Standard - from the 1950s onwards.
A pop-up Moomins shop, courtesy of The Moomins Shop, Covent Garden, is located on Level 2 of the Royal Festival Hall. .
For further press information, images, interview requests and to arrange press tickets please contact:
Jeanette Ward, Press Manager on / 020 7921 0789
Harriet Black, Press Officer on  / 020 7921 0888
LISTINGS INFORMATION @SouthbankCentre #SCMoomins #NordicMatters

Adventures in Moominland Part of Nordic Matters
16 December 2016 - 23 April 2017, Spirit Level at Southbank Centre's Royal Festival Hall
The world of acclaimed Finnish author Tove Jansson and The Moomins is brought to life in a major new immersive, interactive exhibition Adventures in Moominland. The exhibition presents new insights into Jansson’s life and the influences behind her work with archive objects and illustrations built into the experience. Recommended for ages 7+
Timings and prices:
Weekends and holidays – PEAK
Every 15 minutes between 10am – 6pm (last tour enters at 6pm)
£16.50/£13.50 (supporter ticket*)
£15/£12 (non-supporter ticket)

Midweek – OFF PEAK
Daily, on the hour at 2pm, 3pm, 4pm, 5pm & 6pm
Thursdays and Fridays only, an additional tour at 7pm for adults only
£13.50/£11.50 (supporter ticket*)
£12/£10 (non-supporter ticket)
Mischief and Mysteries in Moominvalley
11 - 19 February, 10.30am, 12.30pm, 2.00pm (no 12.30 performance on 18 February) Level 4 Green Bar at Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall, ages 4-7 years, £8
Magical puppetry, original music and interactive play are involved in this Moominvalley workshop. Tickets are £8 for the child but parents must stay throughout the workshop.
Exhibition tickets purchased online include a 20% discount on The Moomin Colouring Book (Price after discount £8). To purchase tickets visit or call 020 7960 4200

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