Gonks, also known as tomte, nisse or tomtenisse, are mythological creatures known throughout Scandinavia culture and usually associated with winter time. These small Gnome like creatures, with long white beards are often associated with nature and farming. I found this scaled up version inspecting some Christmas trees in the shadow of the London Eye.
Researching this reminded me of a show I used to LOVE when I was a kid which seems to be based in this tradition. If you feel like a nostalgia trip, the entire series of the David the Gnome has been released by the producers of the show on their Youtube channel. Scrub through to 6:20 on the video below for a potted history of Gnome culture.
As part of the Southbank’s Nordic themed Winter festival, you can ‘Spot the Gonks’ dotted along the river until 16 January 2017.