Mark Janssen
Home on earth

March 2, 2024 – June 30, 2024 This exhibition has ended
This spring, you will be able to see our fascinating planet through the eyes of Ava, a little girl who takes a creature from outer space called Moon on a tour of the earth. From Saturday 2 March, Mark Janssen’s fairytale-like illustrations will be shown in HALL 7. Here you can immerse yourself in the joyful world of these two new-found friends and get the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of the illustrator.

By using colour, shape, movement, and a sense of adventure, Mark Janssen’s illustrations add a bit of sparkle to the stories. He works in a variety of techniques, including detailed pencil drawing or realistic water colours. The illustrator is best-known for his imaginative, colourful pictures. Made with paint on paper,  the drawings for these are then digitally combined to create the final image that will appear in the book. Some of his digital prints are constructed from no less than 300 separate drawings!

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Winner of Most Beautiful Book Cover 2023

His newest picture book, Home (2023), was recently awarded the prize for the Most Beautiful Book Cover 2023, and forms the point of departure for the exhibition Home on Earth. In the animated images exhibited at the Kunsthal we can see how Moon, a creature from outer space, accidentally lands on earth. After finding him, Ava and her little dog Wolfie take him on a guided tour of their planet: her home. Together they are in awe of the splendour of nature, tough panthers, cheerful birds, and elegant fish. Although Moon seems to be enjoying himself, much to Ava’s sorrow he suddenly disappears. Where did he go? Besides the adventures of Ava and Moon, the exhibition also includes original drawings from earlier books by Janssen, offering an insight into his working process from the very first sketches to the final composition. 


You can also get creative yourself at the KunsthalLAB. Here families and children can make their own cover for the picture book Home. In addition you can also let your imagination run wild while working on a colouring sheet designed by Janssen. Inspired by his book Weird (2019), the visitors are asked to create the most bizarre mirror image they can come up with. And of course there will be books as well: in the special reading nook, both young and old can delve into a selection of books by Mark Janssen. 

Mark Janssen

Mark Janssen (1974) is a children’s book illustrator and maker of picture books. His art studio is located in his home in Valkenburg aan de Geul. Since graduating from the Maastricht Academy of Arts in 1997, he collaborated on around 500 children’s books. In 2016 he started working on his first autonomous picture book. This was followed by highly-acclaimed titles like Nothing Happened (2016), Island (2018), Weird (2019), and Dreamer (2021). To date, Janssen’s picture books have been translated into 22 different languages.


4_Mark Janssen_Thuis_uitgeverij Lemniscaat 2023_LR.jpg
© Mark Janssen, uit: Thuis, uitgeverij Lemniscaat 2023
2_Mark Janssen, Thuis, uitgeverij Lemniscaat 2023_LR.jpg
© Mark Janssen, uit: Thuis, uitgeverij Lemniscaat 2023

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Friday open until 22:00
Celebrate 40 years of Summer Carnival during Friday Night LIVE on 19 July. All exhibitions will be open during the evening.
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