Out And About

Van Gogh – The Immersive Experience

Van Gogh – The Immersive Experience
05 December 2021
Spitalfields, London
1.5 out of 5.0 stars

Okay, I’ll preface this one with saying I am quite the fan of Vincent Van Gogh’s work, so was very excited to see this “immersive experience” and really looking forward to it. This might have lead to me expecting too much and leaving me quite disappointed with what was offered. But let’s start at the beginning.

The first room, which is just a wall of text and a few self portraits, giving an overview of Van Gogh’s life. It felt a little bit like a Wikipedia copy paste job, that framed his life in a very negative light. Unfortunately this continued throughout the exhibition. Sure, he did have mental health struggles that he received little help for, but surely there are better ways to frame this than making it all seem incredibly dark and an absolute misery.

The next space had large prints of many of his works, with timelines and some informational text around his life and experiences. It was interesting to see a collection of sunflower paintings next to each other, but only from afar, as soon as I stepped closer, the flat and blown up quality of the reproductions just didn’t cut it. A few pieces were presented with several pieces cut out to add some dimension, and his famous bedroom recreated in real life (with completely wrong proportions though, and roped off to patrons) but none of these pieces felt in any way immersive. A few 3D pieces to look at just isn’t innovative.

My favourite room was just a large space with tables and colouring book page style paintings to colour in and add to the walls. Unfortunately there were only tiny children’s wax crayons in four colours available. Some of the coloured in pages on the walls definitely looked like a collection of coloured pencils had been available at some point, so it was even more baffling that an immersive experience about a painter known for his unusual colour work would choose to only have 4-colour wax crayon packs available. Lastly, there’s an animation projection in a large room.

Again, this looked quite amateur and very heavy handed. Overall, I just cannot recommend this experience. It’s not immersive and it’s just not very well done.

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