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Grande Exhibitions’ Van Gogh Alive is a truly unique encounter with art where “you don’t just look at his paintings, you step inside them and feel their power”. Visitors can experience the Dutch artist’s evolution - from under-appreciated painter into celebrated genius - via the projections at their fingertips, above their heads and beneath their feet.
Families and art lovers alike get to wander through an immersive gallery of over 3,000 images of Van Gogh’s legendary works, including The Starry Night, Sunflowers and Wheatfield With Crows. In the process, they come face-to-face with the vibrant colours and vivid detail that encapsulates his unique Post-Impressionist style.
Presented across the globe to great critical acclaim, Van Gogh Alive has been exhibited in a wide variety of locations - from a deconsecrated church in Florence, to the lake parks of Shanghai and the spectacular Louvre Abu Dhabi. The show is both a biography and an expansive anthology of masterpieces, specially tailored for each space it visits. Artworks are displayed in all their glory, broken down to showcase certain sections, or even magnified on a breathtaking scale. Photographs, videos and deeply philosophical quotes from Van Gogh himself have been entwined with images of his works to call attention to snippets of his real-life inspiration.
Paintings are shown in such detail (thanks to state-of-the-art technology) that observers will be given fresh insight into the carnival of colours and precise techniques used by the artist. This ethereal experience of feeling fully submerged in Van Gogh’s canvas is interwoven with waves of carefully chosen classical symphonies and bursts of fragrance to pique all the senses.
In addition to the main exhibition, Van Gogh Alive also features hands-on art stations, interpretative areas, a life-sized recreation of Van Gogh’s bedroom in Arles, and a captivating mirrored room adorned with hundreds of sunflowers - perhaps Van Gogh’s greatest muse.
Bruce Peterson, owner of Grande Exhibitions, says: “We’re incredibly excited that Van Gogh Alive is set to make its UK debut in Birmingham. The global exhibition is a perfect Covid-aware experience for the whole family that will provide some escapism and education. We find that adults and children enjoy the experience in different ways, finding their own meaning in Van Gogh’s work as they explore the galleries.
“We visited a number of venues in the UK, but as soon as we entered Birmingham Hippodrome, we knew we had to bring our Van Gogh Alive here. It’s a unique, iconic venue, and we truly believe once we tailor the experience to come alive in the Hippodrome, visitors won’t believe their eyes at the size, scale and beauty within.
“Since announcing the opening in Sydney and reopening in Mexico City with Covid-safe measures in place, demand for tickets has been even higher than pre-lockdown. We’re confident that the experience will be extremely popular in Birmingham, and we can’t wait to open the doors to our first ever UK showing!”
The exhibition marks the first time Birmingham Hippodrome has invited the public into the building since the closure of all theatres and other public spaces back in March. Birmingham has a long history of championing arts and culture, and Van Gogh Alive is an opportunity to continue to support one of the UK’s most stimulating and essential industries.
Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, agrees: “Many sectors are going through an incredibly difficult period due to the coronavirus pandemic, and the arts is no exception. Birmingham Hippodrome has had its challenges, but it’s a critical venue for the West Midlands, and it’s great to see how it’s adapting and thinking outside the box to overcome these challenges.
“The arrival of Grande Exhibitions and Van Gogh Alive is not only a boost for the Hippodrome, but it will also be great for the wider West Midlands economy, helping to draw visitors back to our region.”
Van Gogh Alive shows at Birmingham Hippodrome from Thursday 8 October to Thursday 31 December.
Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased from vangoghaliveuk.com. Adult ticket prices start from
£15. Child and concession discounts available.
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