Now in its seventh year, le Voyage à Nantes in 2018 sees a whole host of new artworks and exhibitions alongside those from previous years of the festival in Brittany's eclectic former capital...
Think of Nantes and it's likely you'll think of some of the incredible art that le Voyage à Nantes has brought to the city such as the astonishing elephant of the Machines de l'Ile that parades along the quayside. Or maybe you'll think of the Château de Ducs de Bretagne? Well, last year that got a modern artistic makeover too with a slide installed on the walls!
Like the elephant, the chateau's slide is now a permanent fixture just like roughly half of the 54 installations at this year's festival. But the other half are completely new, temporary artworks on show for 2018. Follow the green line painted on the ground, which stretches across Nantes for 10 miles, for a voyage of artistic discovery. The theme of this year's festival is 'the art of side-stepping'.
Philippe Ramette is the big-hitter with five statues on display across the city. Known for his quirky, off-kilter worldview, these five éloges ('odes') are an assortment of statues offering his famous absurdist perspective. You'll find them at Passage Pommeraye, Cours Cambronne, Château des ducs de Bretagne, Passage Sainte-Croix, and Place Bouffay.
There are several fascinating artworks relating to mirrors, water and reflections, nature and the body. Peer into the river and see Ange Leccia's Nymphèa gazing back at you, visit Michel Blazy's Last Garden and discover what it will be like when plants take over the vestiges of modern life and take a trip to the Theâtre Graslin and see into the human body in Daniel Firman's striking Inside - a body made of blown crystal with neon gas lighting up the cardiovascular system.
With contributors including artists, designers, gardeners, musicians and even chefs, le Voyage à Nantes is a true celebration of culture, innovation and creativity. From the tops of corporate buildings to street squares and gardens, all of Nantes is an artistic playground. It's a sensational contrast in such a beautiful, historic city.
And if all that sightseeing makes you hungry, head to the open-air restaurant, La Cantine, which has its own market garden. Now a permanent fixture since it was first introduced at the festival, La Cantine has been redesigned this year by a collective called Appelle-Moi Papa. La Colline, a techincolour playground is definitely worth a look-in whilst you enjoy the fresh, local produce on the menu.