Posts Tagged ‘Tuulikki Pietilä’

Tove and the Archipelago Exhibition in Porvoo

On one of our days to Finland, we decided to travel to Porvoo to see the Tove and the Archipelago exhibtion at the Art Factory. It was about an hour away on the bus from Kamppi bus station in Helsinki, then about a ten minute walk to get to the exhibition. It was a gorgeous day and Porvoo is one of Finland’s second oldest towns, so we had a bit of an explore and took some pictures.

The images below of Tove Jansson, Tuulikki Pietilä and Klovharu are mainly taken from a computer screen that was tucked away in a corner at the exhibition, but they were so fascinating and I don’t think I’d seen any of them before, so I’m sorry for the bad quality images but I couldn’t not take pictures as they’re so rare!

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We stopped at the cafe on the left above for drinks, I didn’t realise we were actually on a boat until Tomm told me! Continue reading

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Tove Jansson – Life, Art, Words

This authorised biography follows Tove’s life, mostly in chronological order. You begin to understand what was going on in her life when she created each piece of art, how her friends and family affected her and how important family really is. It’s the sort of book you don’t rush through. Usually I try to read as fast as possible because I have a huge reading list of over 800 books, but with this I had to savour every word. It took me a few days to get through, it’s quite big at 576 pages, but every second was worth it.

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I can’t thank Boel Westin enough for taking the time to read through all of Tove’s letters and documents, compile them and put them into this novel.  Natasha Janz of Sort of Books says Westin had “incredibly privileged and never-to-be-repeated access because she became close friends of Jansson and her partner Tuulikki Pietilä, both of whom have now died, and did a considerable amount of work with them in Tove’s lifetime, going through diaries and letters and being able to discuss it with Tove.”

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There are a lot of pictures, each fitting with the text – most of them have never been published before so it’s always nice, as a Tove Jansson enthusiast, to read new information and see new images. It’s the little things like knowing her favourite walking route in Paris that makes this book so special. It filled me with such inspiration, knowing she lived her life as she wanted to and I like to think it was a happy one. I don’t know what else I could say other than if you like Tove Jansson, you must read this book! The only negative aspect of this book is that it comes to such an abrupt end. I first read it on my kindle and it tells you how long you’ve got left in the book, which counted the bibliography. The way it was written didn’t really imply it was coming to an end. I thought it might’ve discussed Tove’s last few years of her life as little is known about it other than she was diagnosed with lung and breast cancer and spent her last year in hospital.

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Tove Jansson is an inspiration to work hard, love passionately and appreciate art in all its forms.

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Arabia Moomin Mugs – moominmugs.com!

“Time has not reduced the appeal of the Moomins” – Katarina Pettersson, Brand Manager at Arabia.

This is a very special post as it features my favourite collectible merchandise… the mugs! I currently have 37/62 and I started collecting them in August 2011 on my first trip to Finland because they were cheap – only 11€ each. My total spend is now around £845 although they are worth quite a lot more. This post is in celebration of the launching of my new website www.moominmugs.com which details information about the mugs and their estimated cost, which I know fellow collectors/sellers will find incredibly useful. Continue reading

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The Ultimate Guide to Tove Jansson’s Books

It really saddens me that in 2013, almost twelve years after the death of Tove Jansson, we still don’t have all of her adult novels in English. In fact, a lot of people don’t even know everything she worked on. I always get people asking me what novels by her they should read, or shocked comments that they didn’t know she worked on such-and-such a piece, so I’ve decided to dedicate this post to informing readers about what she wrote personally and other works she contributed towards. I’ve chosen not to go into detail about the Moomin books because these are her most well-known novels, so instead I am focusing more on her adult novels.

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Tove Jansson Event at the Southbank Centre

On Sunday December 9th there was a free event held at the Southbank Centre in London that focused on Tove Jansson. The event itself was named ‘Tove Jansson and the Winter Book’, and it was inspired by Adam Gopnik’s new novel ‘Winter’. My initial reaction when I found out about it was that someone must be misinformed because A Winter Book is not really a book, but a compilation of Tove’s other novels (mainly Sculptor’s Daughter). Nevertheless, this made me more intrigued to go and find out what was really going on.

The talk was held by Philip Ardagh, a children’s writer, Emily Jeremiah, a lecturer and prize-winning translator of Finnish and German, and Suzi Feay, a literary journalist. They obviously started off talking about the Moomin books and how in children’s books these days, you automatically know the ‘bad guy’ is going to turn good in the end, but it’s very different with the Moomins. You never really know what to expect. Tove’s writing is so truthful and real unlike any other’s, which is why it is so successful to this day. Philip commented that she can point out the obvious and make it sound so amazing. Continue reading

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Klovharu – Tove Jansson’s Island

Yesterday, I was doing some last minute searching for information about Tove Jansson’s island Klovharu/Haru and I found some contact details for someone who organises it and asked when it is open to the public. For anyone who doesn’t know, Tove and Lars (her brother) built a house on the island of Klovharu which is off the coast of Porvoo in the Pellinki archipelago. She and Tuulikki Pietilä lived there for almost thirty years. For Finnish and Swedish readers, information is available in Tove’s book Anteckningar från en ö (Notes From an Island), published in 1996. The Summer Book (Sommarboken) gives us more information about what it is like to live on an island, and is definitely worth the read (as are all of Jansson’s pieces).

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An Unwanted Guest – Skurken i Muminhuset

The title ‘Skurken i Muminhuset’ translates to ‘The villain of the Moomin house’. It was published in 1980 but has never been officially translated into English.

The pictures found within the story are all photographs taken by Per Olov Jansson (Tove’s brother) from within the Moomin house which was constructed by Tove Jansson, her partner Tuulikki Pietilä and Pentti Eistola in the 1970s. This is now situated in the Moomin musuem (muumilaakso) in Tampere art gallery, Finland. The story of its creation is available in the museum, but photographs are not permitted. The next time I go, I will write down exactly what it says.

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