Get your ticket and Gogh: New immersive exhibition of legendary artist's work shines
In an 1874 correspondence to his brother, Vincent Van Gogh wrote, "...find things beautiful as much as you can, most people find too little beautiful."
It is my belief that Van Gogh and just about anyone else would find much beauty to behold in Beyond Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience.
Imaginative and deeply entrancing, Beyond Van Gogh offers its audience something out of a dream. From the very beginning you are transported to another dimension and placed inside the works and perhaps the very mind of Vincent Van Gogh.
What begins as a sort of visual history behind the artist, featuring written words about his artistic journey and selected quotes from letters he wrote, culminates in a completely immersive experience as his artwork comes to life around you and even under your feet.
Sébastien Grernier-Cartier, CEO and partner at Montreal-based Normal Studio says the first and most important challenge was to make sure that in creating the experience, the depth of meaning behind the artists brushstrokes didn't get lost in the technology.
"The objective is to use the technology, but to make it disappear,"Grernier-Cartier said. "So that when you dive into it, you don't feel that you're looking at an image, but rather you're in it, like an environment."
Dozens of projectors set up in a grid beam the high resolution scans of Van Gogh's work around the exhibit. Every surface, including the floor seems to breathe, Van Gogh's most famous works fill your vision and an ambient soundtrack plays and moves over the digital scenery.
Grernier-Cartier says they wanted to make an experience that was inclusive of everyone, "Beyond Van Gogh is for families," he said. "Kids love it. You know, they lived in the age where they see images everywhere. So for them, it's like just a natural thing to follow like images on the floor."
In each of the scenes presented, Van Gogh's works seem to come to life, elements move and sway with the soft music overhead. Digital artists worked to isolate and manipulate textures and colours and even whole elements from the artist's work.
"There is a scene where you're looking at different paintings of Van Gogh that he did of himself, and then we've extended them onto the floor a little bit, so it feels like the room is infinite," he said.
Beyond Van Gogh
The organizers want to make sure people feel safe when they come and visit Beyond Van Gogh. The space has hand washing stations and there is plenty of room to roam around so social distancing space is available.
Tickets are currently available on the website (https://calgaryvangogh.com) every Thursday morning, there are special tickets to attend a yoga class right in the middle of the immersive space.
The exhibit opens Friday July 30 and runs until August 30.