Photo: Jean Jullien

French Artist Brightens Up Botanical Garden With Fantastical Creatures

News Art + Architecture
by Dayana Aleksandrova Jul 14, 2020

French graphic artist Jean Jullien transformed his iconic doodles into life-sized installations for an open-air exhibit at the Jardin des Plantes in Nantes, France. Playfully and organically blending with the garden’s spacious grassland and ponds, the art is part of the annual Le Voyage à Nantes festival that features inspiring outdoor installations. After being slightly delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the event will take place between August 8 and September 27 this year.

Jullien is known for drawing stick figure characters in a signature black-line style. The installations in the Jardin des Plantes draw on the artist’s techniques and the two-dimensional body shape that he’s known for.

One of the illustrator’s quirky installations in the botanical gardens includes a 26-foot cartoon human seen that’s on their back in one of the garden’s ponds. Another depicts an orange creature walking across a vibrant green field with a huge smile on its face, its long, grass hair trailing elegantly as it marches forward. While three of his installations show solo figures, the fourth and most elaborate portrays three colorful figures embracing the nearby tree trunks in a hug.

“The idea is to have several levels of meaning; something which speaks to the onlookers directly but which then also allows them to stop for a little while and appreciate the surroundings,” Jullien told Dezeen.

The festival is the ideal artistic escape for visitors who’d like to enjoy an outdoor, socially distant exhibit. The garden is open between 8:30 AM and 8:00 PM, and Jullien’s installations are free to enjoy.

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