Behind the scenes: Southbank Centre's Adventures in Moominland

A Moominland exhibition, which explores the Moomin stories through the life of its author, Tove Jansson, has opened at London's Southbank Centre today (16 December).

  • Photography by Vic Frankowski

    Photography by Vic Frankowski

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The immersive show, the first major UK exhibition on Moomins, invites guests to embark on an enthralling journey, by clambering through forests, huddling in caves or setting sail on the high seas to try and find the Moomin family. There are seven immersive worlds to discover, with visitors led by audio narrative voiced by Sandi Toksvig and accompanied by an instrumental score, due to Jansson's love of jazz.

Speaking about how current the values of Moominland remain, Sophia Jansson, the artist's niece, stated that "Tove Jansson creates a world that is different and that emphasises the value of treating everyone, every creature, with respect."

Throughout the exhibition, visitors can learn how Jansson created these unique landscapes, characters and stories, while uncovering over 40 original drawings. They can view archive materials on loan from Moomin Characters and Tampere Art Museum, including original illustration, artworks and 3D models, letters and personal items from the author's studio in Helsinki and her family island of Klovharu, where she lived for almost thirty years.

Created in Finland, the Moomin stories are set in the fictional land of Moominvalley and centre around several oddly-shaped characters, including Moominpappa, Moominmamma, little Moomintroll and their friends. The exhibition, which is being hosted in the venue's Royal Festival Hall, is part of Winter Festival supported by Natwest and part of a wider Nordic Matters season at Southbank Centre across 2017. This will include play sessions by Lego, a giant cinnamon bun bake-off and children's plays.

A pop-up Moomoins shop has also opened on Level 2 of the Royal Festival Hall, and will remain throughout the run of the exhibition, which closes on 23 April. 

Classic FM's Orchestra on Tour, the Philharmonia, collaborated with London's Southbank Centre to offer culture fans an immersive digital experience.

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