A multi-sensory experience that has attracted more than eight and a half million people across 75 cities worldwide will be the centrepiece of Newcastle’s New Annual festival in September. 

Van Gogh Alive will be presented in a specifically designed 2,300 square metre gallery at Foreshore Park. Photo: Van Gogh Alive

Van Gogh Alive will allow audiences to plunge themselves into the life and work of Dutch Post-Impressionist painter, Vincent van Gogh.

Hosted in Foreshore Park and presented in a specially designed 2,300-square-metre gallery known as The Grand Pavilion, the interactive art experience will feature more than 3,000 high-definition images of the artist’s work.

The experience will feature a vibrant symphony of light, colour and fragrance, set to an evocative classical soundtrack.  

An interpretive area provides an educational introduction to some of Van Gogh’s most famous paintings before the cutting-edge technology of the SENSORY4 TM Gallery transports visitors inside the artist’s greatest works, with images projected onto every surface.  

Created and produced by Grande Experiences, Van Gogh Alive is co-produced by Andrew Kay Management in association with BBC and Alex Fane in the Grand Pavilion. 

Grande Experiences owner Bruce Peterson said the art experience had mesmerised a global audience of over eight and a half million people.

“We’re incredibly excited that Van Gogh Alive now comes to Newcastle,” Peterson said.

“This is an unforgettable cultural experience for all the family.” 

Newcastle Lord Mayor, Nuatali Nelmes, said attracting Van Gogh Alive was a coup for Newcastle and would enhance the city’s reputation for hosting world-class events.

“We’re excited to partner with Andrew Kay Management to bring the impressive Van Gogh Alive to a regional city for the first time in Australia as part of our New Annual festival,” Cr Nelmes said.  

“Spanning across ten days and featuring over 50 events across the city, New Annual will showcase local and visiting artists sharing music, dance, theatre, performance and visual art to celebrate creativity. 

“The versatility of Foreshore Park ensures we’re able to attract major events such as this unique immersive experience in Newcastle, which will attract an influx of visitors to our city at a time when the local tourism industry needs it most and as local operators and businesses recover from the pandemic.” 

Newcastle artist James Drinkwater, Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes, City Business Improvement Association Chairperson Kendall Brooks and City of Newcastle New Annual Senior Producer and Curator Adrian Burnett with some of the images visitors will experience as part of Van Gogh Alive. Photo: City of Newcastle

Newcastle artist, James Drinkwater, described Van Gogh as being “in the pantheon of the greats” and welcomed the opportunity to see this show in Newcastle.

He said the city was “coming of age” culturally and believed an event such as this would make art more accessible to the broader community.

“This event is a marker of the times and acts as a conduit between the wonderful and complex social spectrum of Newcastle,” Drinkwater said.

Newcastle will host Van Gogh Alive from September 21 until October 23 at Foreshore Park, while the New Annual program will run from September 23 to October 2 throughout the city.  

Further information about the City of Newcastle’s flagship cultural festival is available at newannual.com

Ticket information for Van Gogh Alive is available at vangoghalive.com.au.

Information source: City of Newcastle