REVIEW: Van Gogh Alive Adelaide
It’s the exhibition you’ve probably been seeing all over the ‘gram, but we can absolutely promise you, however spectacularly it photographs, it’s ten times better experiencing it in person.
There’s a reason that Van Gogh Alive has been a global sensation, it’s because this incredible multi-sensory experience transports you somewhere regular art galleries fail to tread. INSIDE the paintings.
In this world-first purpose-built venue, the internationally acclaimed Van Gogh Alive is currently housed in The Grand Pavilion in North Adelaide, a specially designed and constructed 25,000 square foot immersive gallery.
No ordinary art exhibition
Created by Australia’s own Grande Experiences, Van Gogh Alive sets aside age-old traditions of tiptoeing through silent galleries and viewing paintings from afar in quiet contemplation, with visitors truly able to interact with art in ways they never imagined possible.
Digital screens wrap around the giant warehouse, displaying an ever changing array of Van Gogh’s works. On the walls, up high, down low, even on the floors underneath your feet. This is an art gallery where little people don’t need to be shushed and the works of the artist are larger than life.
From start to finish, you’ll be surrounded by a vibrant symphony of light, colour, sound, and fragrance that has been rightly described as an ‘unforgettable’ multi-sensory experience.
Step into the painting
As well as the grand scale digital gallery immersion, The Grand Pavillion also showcases The Sunflower Infinity Room and a walk-through immersive recreation of arguably Van Gogh’s most famous painting, Starry Night, which for my family were highlights.
These rooms truly offer another way to appreciate the magic and beauty of an artwork, reimagining the pieces in 3D form; with all their beautiful elements close enough to touch if you wanted to. (But please don’t touch, because they don’t want you to…lol).
And the big question – is Van Gogh Alive kid-friendly?
The short answer is, it depends on your kid!
In the session we attended there was a slew of children of different ages in attendance, all with varying levels of interest in the exhibition. Some were dancing around and over the artwork projections on the floor, marvelling at the field of sunflowers in The Sunflower Infinity Room and desperately trying NOT to touch those ever-so-tempting twinkle lights as they ventured INTO Van Gogh’s wondrous Starry Night painting… and in other directions there were audible murmurs of “is it finished yet?” from the littlest art connoisseurs among us.
You know your kids best. It’s not called a multi-sensory experience for nothing; if you think your little people can cope with the occasional unexpected loud noise, a swelling musical soundtrack, changing light levels and potentially being surrounded by quite a few people, then you’re probably good to go. If you have kiddos that are little more sensitive to sensory stimulation and bright visuals, maybe book a babysitter and go with the girls or make a date of it without the tots in tow.
Two out of three of my kids absolutely loved it, and when you’re a parent, you know those are pretty good stats!
Dates: Thu 1 Jul, 2021 – Sun 1 Aug, 2021
Venue: The Grand Pavilion, 88 O’Connell Street, North Adelaide