Through Vincent’s eyes
The exhibition ‘Travelling with Vincent – Van Gogh in Drenthe’ introduces visitors to perhaps the least known work of world-famous painter Vincent van Gogh. From 11 September 2023 to 7 January 2024, paintings, drawings and watercolours that Van Gogh made during his stay in Drenthe will be on display in the Drents Museum in Assen. NorthernLight designed the exhibition where visitors will embark on a mental and physical journey alongside Van Gogh, boarding the train and seeing the Drenthe landscape through his eyes. They will also encounter the contemporaries and sources of inspiration that played a significant role in shaping his artistic vision during his time in Drenthe.
A mental and physical journey
At the core of this exhibition lies the concept of translating Van Gogh’s emotional journey into a contemporary and timeless experience that allows visitors to literally step into the artist’s shoes. ‘Travelling with Vincent’ takes the visitor on an immersive road trip, featuring an abstract train experience that bridges the gap between past and present. The train is kept abstract and purposely becomes timeless. One can identify here with Vincent and relate it to nowadays ‘soul search’ trips.
By creating an immersive space (with the magical video work done by Shosho B.V.) that can be experienced from the train as well as walked through, visitors come even closer to Van Gogh’s emotional journey. A ‘road movie,’ showing a fusion of Drentse landscapes and Van Gogh’s paintings, brings his time in Drenthe to life. The works of Van Gogh, contemporaries and his sources of inspiration are presented in several spaces inspired by the unique colours in the Drentse landscape as described by Vincent in letters to his brother Theo. The themed exhibition rooms, with carpets that evoke the Drenthe landscape, take the form of a walkable ‘color swatch’ and feature these unique colors. The immersive space does not compete with his real and compelling works being on show, but enhances them. In this way, the visitors take their knowledge from the travelling experience to the ‘theme rooms’ where they can admire the real works. ‘Travelling with Vincent’ seamlessly blends immersive audiovisual storytelling with the genuine authenticity of real artworks.
“’Travelling with Vincent’ takes the visitor on an immersive road trip, featuring an abstract train experience that bridges the gap between past and present, while offering a unique combination of immersive audiovisual storytelling and the authenticity of real artworks.” – Max Pecher, Lead Creative
Van Gogh in Drenthe
Vincent van Gogh arrived in Drenthe on 11 September 1883. He spent three months in Hoogeveen, Nieuw-Amsterdam/Veenoord and made a day trip to Zweeloo. The Drenthe landscape inspired him. There, he found the peace and space to reflect on his artistry and to experiment. He practised with themes, techniques and colours. Van Gogh’s time in Drenthe was important for his development as an artist. There he laid the foundations for the many masterpieces that make him one of the most beloved artists ever.
Our special thanks go out to the team of the Drents Museum. We are grateful for our enduring cooperation with the museum and proud that Northernlight was selected to design this special exhibition. Also thanks to IRIS Vormgeving BV for production, 50LUX for lighting, Shosho for the immersive projection, filming by Meraki Content Agency and Phantavision for providing the beamers.
Photos by NorthernLight and Drents Museum, Sake Elzinga.
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