Jean Jullien’s colourful characters take to the great outdoors

The illustrator’s latest creations form part of annual arts festival Le Voyage à Nantes, where giant artworks and outdoor sculptures are dotted in and around the French city throughout the summer period

While the majority of arts festivals have been cancelled or reimagined in virtual form in the wake of the pandemic, France’s annual Le Voyage à Nantes is one of the rare events that has been given the green light this year.

Taking place in and around Nantes every summer, the social distance-friendly festival allows visitors to discover new works of art and installations while walking around the city’s public spaces.

Alongside illustration duo Mrzyk & Moriceau and sculptor Vincent Mauger, one of the highlights of this year’s programme is Jean Jullien, who was born and raised in Nantes.

Unlike some of the illustrator’s earlier lockdown experiments, such as showing off his paintbrush skills in virtual exhibition Home Slice, his new artworks for Nantes hark back to the humorous depictions that he has become so well known for.

The series of four oversized characters are on display at Le Jardine des Plantes, and include everything from a couple of colourful tree-huggers to CR’s personal favourite, an eight-metre-long bather spitting water in the middle of a pond.

Le Voyage à Nantes runs from August 8 – September 27;