For NOW Gallery’s 2019 Design commission, creative duo Studio Morison will create a sculptural space containing a library of children’s fiction written by adult fiction authors, named after the children’s novel The Mouse and His Child by Russell Hoban. The book and the differing affect it has on children and adults encapsulates the curious nuanced experience of reading children’s literature as an adult.
This exhibition will explore the relationship between adulthood and childhood through authors such as Ursula Le Guin, John Steinbeck, Mary Shelley, Virginia Woolf, Oscar Wilde, Leo Tolstoy, Spike Milligan, Salman Rushdie, James Joyce, Umberto Eco, and so on. Through a diverse programme of literary events, the children’s library will become a place to discuss, discover, listen and read.
The gallery space will be transformed into a sculptural and functional space, stepping between art and design practices. Central to the exhibition will be a lit sculptural form, surrounded by bespoke stools, tables and a rug for lying on. Benches will be clustered for sitting and reading alone or in groups. The library will be placed in and around the sculptural installation, upending the notion of bookshelves and interacting directly with the objects. The aesthetic will manifest this unexpected literature blind spot, drawing both adult and children readers alike and creating a space of warmth that speaks of child-like things with an adult undercurrent, just like the books themselves.
To run alongside The Mouse and His Child, NOW Gallery are inviting you to explore the relationship between childhood and adulthood over seven special literary events held in Studio Morison’s enchanted children’s library. These events will range from spoken word to lectures to poetry readings and will be joined by some of brightest and most talented people in literature, with each night taking one of the books from the library as a theme. Adults and children of all ages are welcome to come along, have a drink, relax on the cozy rug under the huge glowing helium balloon, and rediscover their inner child.
All ticket proceeds will be donated to BookTrust, the UK’s biggest reading charity. Full programme of events below:
Saturday 2nd March
Harmonic Storytime Part I
As part of SAMPLE, Greenwich Peninsula’s designer sale with a difference, Kit Wilmans Fegradoe will be experimenting with harmonious and textured sonic landscapes and reaching out towards lesser known stories through sound. A special guest reader to be confirmed.
Thursday 7th March
Badjelly Spoken Word
Hester Connell has curated an evening of Spoken Word with Cecilia Knapp, Mina West, Alex Daykin and Kareem Parkins-Brown. They will be reacting to Spike Milligan’s Badjelly the Witch for an evening from some of London’s most dynamic performers.
Thursday 14th March
Special author readings from Catherine O’Flynn and Horatio Clare as part of The London Book Fair, inspired by The Iron Man and The Borrowers.
Saturday 23rd March
Harmonic Storytime Part II
Kit Wilmans Fegradoe will be experimenting with harmonious and textured sonic landscapes and reaching out towards lesser known stories through sound. A special guest reader to be confirmed.
Thursday 28th March
The Book Group Greenwich
This month, The Book Group Greenwich’s meeting will be hosted by NOW Gallery and they will be discussing The Cat and The Devil by James Joyce. (Closed event).
Thursday 11th April
NOW Gallery’s Bloomsbury evening with The Virginia Woolf Society of Great Britain with Maggie Humm presenting with a salon discussion plus a reading on the subject of Virginia Woolf’s The Widow and The Parrot.
Thursday 18th April
Poetry Society: Kate Wakeling
Kate writes poetry for both children and adults and is a fan of The Mouse and His Child. Her first collection of poems for children, Moon Juice, won the 2017 CLiPPA Prize. She will be reading both her adult’s and children’s poems.