To coincide with the 100th anniversary of the birth of Tove Jansson (1914–2001), The Finnish Institute in London with The Institute of Contemporary Arts presents original photographs and material relating to her life and work, illustrated books and early first editions.
Tove Jansson, an accomplished Finnish author and artist, had a life every bit as fascinating as her famous creations, The Moomins. Tove Jansson: Tales From the Nordic Archipelago draws an intimate portrait of the artist’s life on her private island in the archipelago of Finland, where she regularly spent the summer months with her female companion Tuulikki Pietilä and at her artist studio in Helsinki. Shot over a period of 60 years by her dear friend, renowned Finnish photographer C-G Hagström (b. 1940) and her brother, photographer, Per Olov Jansson (b. 1920), rare family photographs reveal a story of an extraordinary life.
“Tove’s work, illustrations and writing, convey warmth, optimism and joy as well as finding happiness in small, everyday things. It also encourages people to follow their own path”, says C-G Hagström.
“There aren’t a lot of internationally published pictures of Tove. She usually hated photographers and reporters, but we were soul mates. Her warm and open personality inspired me to take softer pictures of people. I hope the images will show Londoners what an empathic and sensitive person Tove was.”
The display runs from 15 July to 24 August and is curated by Susanna Pettersson, Director, and Animaya Grant, Head of Events and Communications at the Finnish Institute in London, with the ICA.