#vangogh #salfordquays #vangoghalivemediacity #mediacity #salford
Having visited the Van Gogh immersive experience in York, it was interesting to compare this with our visit to the Salford version.
On entering, there are a series of board displays recounting significant parts of his life. For those who didn't know much about his life, these contained an interesting overview.
Next, there is a chance to sit in his bedroom taken from the famous painting, which he painted in 1888. Although, the bedroom was reproduced in the York exhibition visitors weren't allowed into the room. This time, however, it felt good to be part of the scene.
As you turned the corner you encountered an artwork, on a screen, showing how one of his flower paintings can be done by a computer. This type of art work seems to be more popular at the moment, but that is up for discussion at another time!
After watching the short video, we proceeded to the main area. Unfortunately, we hadn't been informed that the show had already started, so had to stay after the finish of the show to watch the beginning section then.
On entering it was quite busy but we soon found a spot to stand, where we could see many of the huge wall canvases. By the end of the presentation we would have appreciated more seating being available.
The large screens all around gave a superb chance to experience his artwork as the story of his life was told with the paintings and notes at the side. Seeing these paintings on such large screens really brought them to life. There were many more paintings shown than when we saw the show in York. Also, it was a more well balanced story whereas in York it seemed to focus on his later mental issues a lot more.
Young children enjoyed the images on the floor and often chased them as they moved across the area. This was at times a little distracting but it was good to see them enjoying themselves.
After viewing the show, we moved to the room with the Sunflowers in it. This was not as big as we expected but, by the use of mirrors, was a clever way of giving the impression of a big field. This was an added bonus whereas in York the extra was the use of virtual reality headsets to experience viewing his paintings, although this was an added cost.
On leaving the area, you had a chance to follow a tutorial to sketch the bedroom on an easel or buy a souvenir.
It's hard to compare these two experiences as they were so different. We preferred the chance to sit in deckchairs in York as the images of the paintings swirled all around the room and it was truly immersive as they washed over you. The downside of York was that not as many paintings were featured and the focus was different. In Salford more pictures were featured and the story was told better.
Would I recommend one over the other? Not really, but an amalgamation of the two would be perfect. However, both are well worth experiencing in their own right.
I have heard a rumour that one similar to the York experience is coming to Manchester next year.
This also helps a whole new audience experience artwork and that can only be a good thing. I have also heard that a Monet and Klimt experiences are being planned for the future.