The Idol

Sport & Adventure / Soft Play & Party Centres

  • Barking, Greater London, IG11 7HW
  • 020 7382 7284

A major new sculpture and permanent soft play centre by Marvin Gaye Chetwynd for the Abbey Leisure Centre in Barking.

Indoors Activity

Family Friendly Activity

Accessible in some areas

Dogs Not allowed

Opening Times





The Idol
The Idol
The Idol

More Information

Marvin Gaye Chetwynd’s permanent indoor play area for the Abbey Leisure Centre in Barking is the latest commission by Create. Titled The Idol, this ambitious new work brings art into the social space of a municipal facility and embodies the eclectic and exuberant mood of Chetwynd’s performances.

The project takes as its starting point the vernacular of soft play which first became prevalent in the 1980’s. With its wipe clean vinyl and heavily prescribed health and safety protocol, soft play carries a set of aesthetic and social conventions which become the medium for this new work.

Large-scale black-and-white printed walls and floors will envelop children in a chaotic, fantastical world of images. Ancient and modern spectacle will collide and merge; from Greek myth to ancient Egyptian statues to Sci-Fi cyborgs. The walls will teem with glimpses of different historical eras in the form of architectural fragments, sculpture and robots.


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