Epic Van Gogh Art Experience at Melbourne’s Lume

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I recently went to check out the Van Gogh art experience at Melbourne’s Lume, which I had heard so much about, and was absolutely blown away. What a spectacular, new and exciting way to explore artistic creations, and on such a grand scale, it is like no other art exhibition I’ve seen before. 

Van Gogh is one of the most famous artists of all time who created some of the most beautiful paintings in the world still today, and here at Lume his extraordinary artwork is brought to life in an immersive art encounter to stimulate the senses.

The enormous digital displays give people a different perspective, transforming art into fluid pictures, which are beamed on every surface around you, and on you, so that you become part of the masterpieces. And all accompanied by dramatical musical arrangements to enhance the experience and evoke emotions.

As I wandered throughout the gallery absorbing the phenomenal display of Van Gogh’s most iconic artwork, I loved the fact that you don’t have to tip toe quietly or worry about being too noisy as in other museums and galleries. Here it’s about exploring art freely with all your senses, as you dance, laugh, talk, eat, and have fun around the iconic master’s work.

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Some of the many Van Gogh self portraits

The Artist – Vincent Van Gogh

Let me give you a little bit about the legendary artist:

  • Van Gogh began painting at 27.
  • A brilliant Post-Impressionist artist.
  • He lived a troubled life plagued with mental and physical illness.
  • His life was cut very short, dying at age 37 in 1890, from infection of a gun shot wound.
  • He created 2,000 pieces of artwork in a career spanning just 10 years, both paintings and drawings of landscapes, still life, and portraits with bold brushwork.
  • A self-taught artist, his innovative techniques put him ahead of his field, that others would later try to replicate, making him a founder of modern art.
  • He is known as the Dutch Master, but during his life received little acknowledgment. 
  • The art-buying public of his time were not keen on his work.
  • He only sold one piece of art in his lifetime!
  • Now his works are some of the most expensive in the world.
  • Living a large part of his life in France, he gained much inspiration from Paris and the French countryside.
  • Also known as the tortured artist, he was often unhappy with his creations and considered them failures, and himself a failure as an artist.
  • He suffered bouts of severe loneliness and manic depression.
  • During his time in France he admitted himself to an asylum, and continued his art whilst a resident there.
  • In fact, one of his most noteworthy pieces, Starry Night, (see photo below) was born from his time there.
  • He painted fast and spontaneous, and was known to squeeze paint tubes directly onto the canvas.
  • He also loved a selfie, painting dozens of portraits of himself over the years.
  • His staples in life were bread, coffee, alcohol and smoking.
  • He lived in poverty, ate very poorly and was often sick.
  • His brother Theo supported him in every way.
  • Details surrounding the mutilation of his ear have remained a bit of a mystery, with some believing he cut it himself, others saying his good friend Gaugin cut it, after an argument.
  • To what extent his ear was damaged is also unclear, whether it was the whole ear or ear lobe. 
  • Much has been left unanswered about his life, even about how he was shot, which only adds to the fascination and legend of the beloved artist.
  • Most of his art is now housed in the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
  • Some pieces are at Musée d’Orsay in Paris, as well as other museums in Europe and around the world. Many are in private collections.
  • Sadly, a huge amount of his art has been lost or disposed of, as people didn’t consider them of worth. Even his own mother threw out crates full.

Photos of Van Gogh Art Experience

van gogh art experience
'Starry Night', one of the most famous paintings of all time
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Irises
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Bedroom in Arles
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Girl in White
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Starry Night over the Rhône
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Vestibule of the Asylum Saint-Rémy & Window at the studio
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Wheatfield under thunderclouds
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Sunflowers
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Self portrait with bandaged ear and pipe
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Woodcutter
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Wheat field
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Vase with daisies and poppies
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Immersed in the art
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Enjoying some refreshments at Lume's Cafe Terrace

Lume

Lume is a permanent digital art gallery which recently opened in Melbourne and is the only one of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere. A magnificent purpose-built venue with 50 state-of-the-art projectors.

Lume chose Van Gogh for their opening exhibition which I think speaks volumes. The Van Gogh art experience has certainly made a huge impression on visitors to the new establishment, with towering displays 4 storeys high, animated surfaces with explosions of colour with incredible surround sound music.

A modern presentation of historic masterpieces, allowing us to step inside the artwork, treating our senses to an epic art adventure.

Details for visiting Lume

  • Located at Melbourne Convention Centre at South Wharf, Melbourne.
  • Book your visit on line.
  • Entry tickets are available every hour.
  • Allow 1.5 hours at least for the full program.
  • You can stay as long as you like.
  • Suitable for all ages.
  • Cafe, toilets and gift shop on site.
  • Open 7 days a week.
  • Photography is allowed without flash.
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The bedroom in Arles - interactive display
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Sunflowers to infinity
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Van Gogh souvenirs at Lume shop
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Van Gogh bear

The Van Gogh art experience is not only for art lovers but for everyone.  So, if you’re in Melbourne, be sure to check it out, if you get the chance. You won’t regret it.

Please note, it is only on for a limited time.

Have you been to Lume already? Or similar exhibitions elsewhere in the world?

Let me know your thoughts below.

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