NOW Gallery, Greenwich Peninsula’s cultural platform for exciting design, art and fashion exhibitors, welcomes its latest exhibition, The Mouse and His Child, by artist-led creative practice Studio Morison. The installation explores the human experience of fiction within an immersive sculptural reading room housing a collection of children’s storybooks written by authors more commonly known for their adult fiction. With this, The Mouse and His Child will unravel the perception of narratives and storytelling through the lens of the reader.
The exhibition’s namesake, The Mouse and His Child, references the title of Russell Hoban’s children’s novel that interweaves adult themes of politics and the dangers of reality within typically childlike characters and motifs. As such, when a young person reads The Mouse and His Child, their experience of an exciting and fun tale contrasts against the adult experience of the tale’s cautionary undercurrent. This curious nuanced experience of reading a book for children as an adult will be explored through the oeuvre of literary works and the interactive library space.
The gallery space will be transformed into a sculptural and functional space, stepping between art and design practices. Inspired by the home the Mouse, his child and their friends finally make for themselves at the end of their journey Studio Morison have similarly created a space that “assumes a look of wild confidence and reckless bravado”. Central to the exhibition will be a huge rug for lying and reading on, lit by a floating sculptural form above and surrounded by bespoke stools and reading tables. 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.
Authors will include the likes of Ursula Le Guin, John Steinbeck, Mary Shelley, Virginia Woolf, Ted Hughes, Oscar Wilde, Leo Tolstoy, Susan Hill, China Mieville, Spike Milligan, Salman Rushdie, James Joyce, Graham Green, Umberto Eco will feature. Studio Morison will develop a space to discuss, discover, listen and read children’s fiction for both adults and children.
Coinciding with the exhibition will be a series of literary events hosted by NOW Gallery which will further explore the themes of adulthood and childhood in fiction including Virginia Woolf – The Widow and The Parrot, Margaret Atwood – Rude Ramsay and the Roaring Radishes, and Spike Milligan – Bad Jelly. These nights will range from lectures to book clubs, from spoken word nights to literary dinners, each event drawing from a particular children’s book in the library, and welcoming both adults and children of all ages.