If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to sit in a Van Gogh painting, then look no further than the Van Gogh Immersive Experience. From now until the 19th April 2020, you can visit St Mary’s Church in York (or from 7th Feb at All Saints’ Church in Leicester) and have an audio-visual experience of Van Gogh’s work.
We were recommended to visit as part of the teen’s Art GCSE and we took the opportunity to go during half-term. Thank you to the team for inviting us along.
Disclosure – this article was facilitated by press tickets
The exhibition is in St Mary’s Church which is next to the Jorvik Viking Centre in York’s Coppergate shopping area. It’s the usual travel arrangements for York city centre I’m afraid – we chose to park in Foss Bank car park, a 10 minute walk away, which is pay and display.
The first part of the exhibition is the main attraction – a “cutting edge virtual projection” of Van Gogh’s work onto the four walls. You grab a Van Gogh deckchair and enjoy the animations and music. Top tip – don’t sit right at the front or you’ll only be able to see one wall comfortably. Sit further back for full effect.
This part lasts around 45 minutes and it’s on a loop – you can enter or leave at any time. I don’t see why you can’t sit and watch multiple times. It was certainly comfortable and peaceful enough and I could have sat there most of the day!
There are projections of some of Van Gogh’s most famous artworks and also some of his quotes and philosophy. There are no particularly scary parts and it’s suitable for all ages, though smaller children might not want to sit still for that long. The room itself is dark though and there are a couple of steps to get up and down.
At the back is a recreation of Van Gogh’s bedroom as depicted in his artworks, which looks great!
After this, you can go off to some more parts which consist of a drawing gallery aimed at children but which the teens and adults were making good use of, and a virtual reality bit with headsets which is £3 extra each but you don’t need to book.
After that, it’s a Van Gogh related gift shop and you’re done!
Overall, this is a good way to spend an hour or two and we recommend it for art lovers of any age. I am sure it will be of great benefit for when the teen sits her GCSE in Art later this year.
Visit time – 1.5 – 2 hours
Facilities – toilets, gift shop
Recommended for – families, art lovers, older people – it could be a great choice for a Mother’s Day treat!