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Review - Van Gogh Alive: a grand experience

By Lilian Harrington

Van Gogh Alive

257 McArthur Ave., Hamilton (Carpark 1)

From 29 October (limited season)


Cost: $35 Online Bookings: or

This all immersive unforgettable multi- sensory experience gives both young and old alike a super perspective of Van Gogh on a huge scale; it gives viewers information about the artist’s sources of inspiration, via photographs, videos, and digital displays of his works. It offers a chance to dream and to lose yourself in the works of one of the “greats” Vincent Van Gogh; it is a grand experience!

Vincent Van Gogh, had a passion to dream and paint. “I dream to paint and then I paint my dream,” while not successful in selling his paintings in his own short lifetime, he left a legacy for the generations that have come after him, which is rich and inspiring.

His paintings have lasted and have proved to have influenced and motivated other artists over time. This exhibition pays tribute to Vincent Van Gogh and his art. While it doesn’t display the works in a standard gallery style, it addresses the perspective of the “ordinary bloke” and how he may experience the works.

The inspiration for Grande Experiences has been the work of Australian, Bruce Peterson; not an artist himself, he came from a family where both his mother and his grandmother painted. He developed a passion to present and display art works on a grand scale and in a manner that was immersive and digitally innovative, allowing for a new cultural experience for viewers not before seen.

His passion took him to Germany, where he developed a portable method of showing the art works of well-known artists on a large scale and in a digital format that has been very innovative, and has successfully displayed in many famous galleries, museums and cities all over the world. Peterson believes :

“Life is about experiences and the more you experience the more you understand life-and the better yours will be” This two year tour of Van Gogh Alive has now reached its second leg, and it will be seen in over 50 cities round the globe.

The exhibition touring Brisbane has been produced by Andrew Kay, Fane and partners with Lexus. The exhibition is cleverly staged in an “expo style” portable pavilion, fitted with Some huge areas where moving displays of Van Gogh’s work is seen on screens, ceilings, videos, and even Lexus cars , as well as organised special spaces, where immersive examples of Van Gogh’s work and style can be seen, e.g. Van Gogh’s bedroom, the Terrace Café at night , an infinite field of sunflowers, or his famous Starry Night painting , where the audience are immersed in the area as they step through the space .

The pavilion is run on hybrid power and electricity, and is a carbon neutral building. The sound and technical capabilities used in the show are state of the art Sensory 4, and run through an immersive gallery space which allows for some 3,000 enormous crystal- clear images to be shown and transform the space. The lighting effects are designed to complement the atmospheric requirements for each featured room-space, and the use of surround classical sound, bright visual colours and fragrances draw the viewer into Van Gogh’s artistic focus. Van Gogh stated “I want to say something comforting “….the way to know life is to love many things”.

Van Gogh Alive was opened by Amanda Muggleton and indigenous speaker Stephen Coghill, who gave a welcome to country. The producer Andrew Kay outlined the back story on how the exhibition had developed overseas; due to COVID an opportunity had presented itself here in Australia, so the show could be exhibited here. A warm mood and ambience was created in the pavilion as guests moved through to witness the 42 minute show, while sipping Taittinger Champagne and canapes which were served.


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