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

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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.

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