Marvin Gaye Chetwynd is a Turner-Prize nominated artist whose MO seems to be to work on exciting projects. Her latest, commissioned by Create, is an artistic rendering of the archetypal soft-play. Set in the new Abbey Leisure Centre in Barking – a £14 million project opening this month – it is like no other soft play. Guaranteed. For a start, the inspiration comes from a Neolithic idol found in Dagenham in 1922, understood to be the earliest representation of a human found in Europe. Plus, no garish bright colours: everything is in black and white, including Gaye’s trademark collages (when was the last time you saw a collage at a soft-play?).

Opening tomorrow – 20 March – The Idol, which stands at two storeys, is designed so that children can climb all the way up and right into the idol’s head. There, they can peer out from his eyes to see what he sees. On the way, they can explore different levels, diverting into chambers, and journeying up and down ramps. Meanwhile, from ground-level, parents can imbue the artistic impetus (or gaze at their phones).

Abbey Leisure Centre, Axe Street, Barking, London IG11 7LX

More in Do

Family Photography Now

By , 16th September 2016
Do, Features
Announcing our directive for the Family Photography Now initiative in partnership with The Photographers' Gallery, Thames & Hudson and Guardian Family