All bound for Moominland
London’s Southbank Centre hosts the first major UK exhibition of The Moomins, showcasing creator Tove Jansson’s original drawings, paintings and personal items
Migrating from Finland to the UK as part of Southbank Centre’s Nordic Matters programme, the Adventures in Moominland exhibition is the country’s first major showcase of Tove Jansson’s iconic characters. “The Moomins offers unparalleled potential to visually explore the rich Nordic landscape and create a truly magical experience for the viewer,” explains producer Paul Denton.
With the programme eager to examine the themes of sustainability, gender equality and play, the stories of the Moomins and Tove provide a unique way to tap into these three topics. “Through our exhibition programme, Southbank Centre is also keen to find a new way of exploring and displaying original archive material,” says Paul. “By displaying these rich and beautiful works in unconventional ways – so they’re not hung neatly in rows on walls, but embedded within an immersive set – we allow visitors a new way of connecting and create a more accessible way of understanding,” he adds.
The exhibition features original illustrations, letters and 3D models, and will take viewers on a tour through the world of the Moomins. “Each section you pass through takes either direct inspiration from the unique Moomin landscape and seasons, or from a visual reference in the books,” Paul says. “Personally I love the Winter Forest and bathing hut, where you might just see the Groke!”
At the heart of the Moomin books is the warmth of family connections, which Paul and Tove Jansson’s niece, Sophia Jansson, hopes visitors will take away with them. “Tove was an exceptional, brave and talented female artist whose works thematically are still very current today,” says Sophia.
“The Moomins and their fantastical valley are in many ways a mirror of humanity and the values we hold dearest,” she adds. “The stories are timeless, not bound by geographical, religious or political constraints. They’re fundamentally peaceful and human, and hence appeal to all manner of people. They speak to the thinking and feeling child, as well as adult, in all of us.”
The exhibition runs from 16 December 2016 to 23 April 2017. Find out more at
The Moomins are in many ways a mirror of humanity and the values we hold dearest
The world of the Moomins is one of tolerance and love, where every individual is allowed to be themselves. Creator Tove Jansson took inspiration from the landscape, her friends, family and lovers.
This exhibition gives Southbank Centre visitors a unique opportunity to reconnect with the original books and stories from Finland’s Tove Jansson.
The Adventures in Moominland exhibition is split into seven immersive worlds for visitors to explore.