A few years back myself and my old uni housemates started to organise a meet up between Christmas and New Year. Since most of us aren't working during this period it made perfect sense to catch up and do something a bit cultural! To date we've been to all sorts, from Ann Veronica Janssens: yellowbluepink (worth looking up, its basically a very disorientating misty room with yellow, blue and pink light through the mist), to going to the Bombay Saffire Gin Distillery.
This year it was decided we would go to see the Tove Jansson Exhibition at the Dulwich Picture Gallery. If that name means nothing to you (it initially meant nothing to me) then you'll be surprised to know how famous she actually is. "The Moomins" were actually written and illustrated by Tove herself.
Now, I love cartoons, illustrations, art, sculpture, all of it. I always figured if I could do any job in the world I would love to work alongside Nick Parks on Wallace & Gromit. You may have noticed that we've recently changed our logo and it was actually something I designed and drew up myself, so when I found out we were going to see an illustrators exhibition I was beyond excited. I have to say, the exhibition didn't disappoint. If you're in the area of Dulwich (it's a village in London; I wasn't aware London had villages but apparently it does), then it's worth a visit.
As a kid I watched a lot of The Moomins and I absolutely loved it. Admittedly I did feel a sense of foreboding for all the characters in each episode and I guess that dark edge to a story is what attracted me to it. Tove actually did a lot of her initial work during WWII and for me that explains a lot. That constant feeling of unease would have been extremely prevalent during the war.
Her sketches and pen and ink works are beautiful and it was a real privilege to see it up close. Mostly, these events are great to get out for the day and catch up with the friends I made through uni. I'm very lucky that they're the sort of people that really make an effort to keep in touch and that's really important these days when social media can make people lazier about meeting face to face.
I hope you've enjoyed a sneak peek of the gallery & exhibition and I will speak to you all in 2018!! Happy New Year!!