Marylou Faure makes a hearty splash with a daring dive into 3D inflatable sculpture

Over the last couple of weeks, shoppers around Brick Lane will have noticed that the homeware store Cuemars has been taken over by an enormous inflatable sculpture of a stark naked woman diving into a satisfying splosh of water. With her bubblegum-pink skin tone and her voluptuous curves, this could only be the work of Marylou Faure. The installation seeks to embody the “weightless freedom” one experiences when “fully immersed in water”, Marylou tells us. With the last few weeks of stinking hot weather, the timing of the piece couldn’t be more apt.

When we first fell in love with Marylou’s illustrations, it was for her joyful and sensual 2D work. But her recent ventures into large-scale, three-dimensional sculpture marks an exciting new chapter in her creative practice. For Marylou, everything about this new step has felt natural. “I always felt like my characters were almost a living thing; that they could move, that they had a physical presence in their curvy shapes and their confident attitude,” she explains. “I knew the translation from 2D to 3D would be seamless,” she continues, “because everything that makes my characters what they are would be accentuated and embellished in 3D.” You only need to look at her recent body of work to realise how right she was.

However, her new vision hasn’t become without its challenges. The design for a new piece usually needs a lot of adjusting, “things like separating the arms and legs, or simplifying the design a bit”, and the 3D samples often come out very different to how she had imagined them. In fact, for her diving woman in Skinny Dipping, “the sample couldn’t have been more wrong”, laughs Marylou. “The angle of the girl was not working, the water was way too big and it looked quite clunky and unbalanced.” Nevertheless, with a little clever tweaking Marylou brought her idea to life, magically summoning the incomparable joy and freedom of a skinny dip.

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