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Swimming in Blue!

The Van Gogh Experience, Walking & Talking with the Artist!

At the end of May I took myself on something like an Artists Date (I went with hubby, friend and her baby, rather than going alone) back to York, to the Van Gogh Experience.

‘Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience’ is a travelling exhibition aimed at a wide audience of families and visitors of all ages. It is a beautiful exhibition around Van Gogh that combines his life story with an in-depth immersion into the heart of his art.

With timed entry and plenty of good Covid protocol, we stepped through the curtains into the body of St Mary's church, which is set out with benches and gorgeous Van Gogh printed deckchairs. I had been advised that you get the best experience sitting at one side so you can lookk up and down the length of the church as the "experience" starts. With clever technology and programming the 45 minute programme of projections perfectly fits the architecture of the church. Images from Van Goghs paintings are animated to come to life, you bob one cobalt blue waves, swim in blue skies with swirling golden stars, get enveloped in green ivy leaves. The narrator tells snippets of Van Gogh's life, the highs and lows. The projections also spill onto the floor and at one point included rain falling and ripples appear in puddles on the floor (which Baby F tried paddling in! Cuteness overload!).

It's very clever and a beautiful, visceral, expressive and emotive portrait of this short but brilliant life of a man in love with nature, beauty, joy and art. An ambitious man who dedicated his life to his expressive art...a world that was sadly closed-minded to his ideas, to the unconventional, to any artist not coming through the Proper Channels of the then highly structured art world.

I often felt that Vincent Van Gogh may have suffered from S.A.D, as his happiest paintings of almond blossoms and sunflowers came in the spring and summer. His darker works came with the advancing crows of his last painting, in autumn and winter.

I highly recommend the Van Gogh Experience, which is playing in York and Leicester in the UK, but many international locations too. It put me in mind of the Dr Who episode where they brought Vincent to the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam to see the effect his work has had on the world, how much he is loved, that he never got to experience in his short makes me cry every time!

One other thing that made me sad was that the inevitable gift shop didn't sell the fabulous deck chairs!

This week, in my facebook group, Creative Hands Tribe, I will be spending the rest of the week doing a walk & talk sharing to see what subjects and sharings come up. I run a monthly creative challenge. This month I am very aware that my body needs and wants to MOVE more. When I take myself out for a "stomp" I not only notice the changing natural world around me, find inspiration in the sights, sounds, smells, textures, but i also find it is often like a meditation and an inspiration. I often talk to myself on my walks and work through some issues I've been struggling with. I often get my best ideas and inspirations when out walking. So my plan is to share these in the Tribe and chat around whatever arises in each of us. It'll be a simple, fun, playful creative if you want to join in, come along and join the Creative Hands Tribe in facebook!

KM 14/6/21

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