Van Gogh Alive Exhibition

As spring weather visited Newcastle, some of us here at Art Mania celebrated with a little outing to the Van Gogh Alive exhibition at Foreshore Park. We enjoyed some social time and got inspired by the artworks and multimedia experiences.

Of course I had to dress for the occasion!

The exhibition was being held inside a giant tent building, with a gift shop and drinks area before the main exhibition rooms. The main part of the exhibit was a multimedia experience that used large-scale images, words and music to tell the story of Van Gogh’s life. It was moving and beautiful.

Seeing his paintings blown up, taking up walls and ceilings and floors brought you into his world and forced engagement with his art. It was interesting to hear and read about the state of mind Van Gogh was in and how the paintings reflected this through the stages of his too-short life.

In terms of inclusivity, the exhibit was wheelchair accessible. The building was a little warm and stuffy, and the room with the multimedia experience had little seating- I ended up sitting on the floor for the presentation. It was crowded but with enough room to move through the exhibit without being jostled. The multimedia presentation featured a loud gunshot, but the audience was warned about this beforehand.

My personal favourites were the sunflower room- cheery and gorgeous and a great place for photos, and the room that was a recreation of Van Gogh’s painting of his bedroom. I would have loved to see more rooms like this- it was great fun for photos. The starry night room with the hanging lights was ethereal and invited you in to explore the glowing strands of light.

The exhibition represented well the contrast of Van Gogh’s vivid, beautiful palette with his life of struggle. We came away moved by the enduring beauty of his art.

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