Van Gogh Alive: my thoughts and reflections
I attended the Van Gogh Alive Experience and I would highly recommend!
I’ve always been a fan of his work (particularly as his artwork was displayed around the house growing up, and I had learnt his art style in classes). If you have a day available definitely visit the show – which is on until 1 August!
The experience entailed three interactive rooms – you first entered a radiant ‘Starry night’ room, with hanging lights and a painted floor and ceiling. For the next 30 or so minutes, the next room projected Van Gogh’s art and quotes. Corresponding music filled the room and the art reflected different eras of Van Gogh’s life – start to finish. The final room was covered in sunflowers (which presented a perfect photo op)!
Van Gogh’s art presented a mixture of emotions. You could really see how significant life changes affected his choice of colour, brush strokes or objects of the paintings. The exhibition displayed his love for nature, flowers – and his unique self-portraits. But it also presented life lows and his time in an asylum – which conveyed feelings of confusion, loneliness, and sadness. The exhibition made effective use of music and quotes to convey the heavy emotions.
I appreciated seeing Van Gogh’s exploration and influence from different cultures – I didn’t realise he had an era influenced by Japanese art. I also love his Paris period of art. It was wonderful to see how universally appreciated his art is – there were a range of visitors of different age and backgrounds who watched in awe.
Towards the end of the experience, I couldn’t help but feel bittersweet about Van Gogh’s life and art. Van Gogh had only sold one painting while he was alive despite painting over 900 paintings. He also suffered from chronic mental illness. So, while I stood there appreciating his art, it was sad to think he’ll never know how loved his art is.
One of my favourite quotes that I captured—
‘I love nature and art and poetry, and if that is not enough, what is enough?’Vincent Van Gogh
Being content in life really does come down to appreciating the things you love instead of chasing goals and creating heavy expectations for happiness. Art, nature and poetry may seem unimportant but appreciating creativity can elevate your life and you can begin perceiving so many things in a beautiful way.