This spring, Bruce Peterson’s Grande Experiences is set to bring his immersive, multi-sensory art exhibition Van Gogh to Australia’s first permanently housed digital art gallery, THE LUME Melbourne.
Ready to delight each of your senses, for their first experience The LUME Melbourne will bring to life Van Gogh’s incredible works as epic-scale masterpieces woven together with stunning musical soundscapes, evocative aromas, and perfectly curated food and beverage offerings through the uniquely recreated Café Terrace 1888.
In total, the gallery will host a reimagining of 3,000 paintings, sketches, letters and archive as part of the multisensory experience.
As the founder and owner of Grande Experiences, Bruce Peterson and his team have pioneered the move from artefact-based exhibitions, to multimedia exhibitions, to fully integrated multi-sensory immersive experiences and are behind many of the internationally acclaimed experiences you might have heard of.
From The Leonardo Da Vinci Collection to Alice – A Wonderland Adventure and 101 Inventions that Changed the World, Peterson and his team pride themselves on finding new, creative, and immersive ways for people to enjoy art, culture, history and science.
His latest creation, Van Gogh, expands on this vision.
What is your first memory of experiencing Van Gogh’s works? My mother is an amateur painter, and her mother too, so artist books were always lying around the house. Vincent’s works always caught my eye from an early age simply because of the colours.
For many visitors, Van Gogh will be a whole new way of experiencing art, what led you to wanting to present Van Gogh’s work in this way? During a family holiday in Europe many years ago, I took my young children to several galleries and museums. Whenever I found myself engaged in an artwork, I’d feel a tug at my sleeve as the kids just wanted to leave and get a gelato. It ignited something in me to explore what would keep them interested and hold their attention. And that then really extended to very large numbers of people that are not engaged in art and culture.
As a company, we had established ourselves as world leaders in artefact-based Leonardo da Vinci exhibitions, but we started looking at other concepts to present internationally, and that is what led us down a pathway of exploring projection technology as a medium to tell stories and engage our audiences further. At the time, the technology was becoming more robust and accessible and after a few years of rigorous R&D in Melbourne, Van Gogh was born.
What is it about Van Gogh’s body of work that lends itself to this experience? The vibrancy of Vincent’s artwork is perfectly suited to large-scale immersive projection environments and there is also significant interest and intrigue with audiences globally in Vincent’s story and the challenges he faced with mental health – a subject matter that is at the forefront of discussions right now and rightly so.
His art is also regarded as some of the world’s most iconic, popular, and widely recognised, and so I feel it is the combination of all these factors working together that creates such an emotional and enjoyable outcome for every visitor.
What is your favourite part or element of Van Gogh? I love how we have found the perfect music score to accompany the visual experience. It wasn’t an easy task by any measure. I still get the hairs on the back of my neck standing up when I’m in the immersive gallery taking it all in.
What can visitors expect from their experience in Van Gogh? Van Gogh isn’t here to replace visits to traditional institutions, or original art. To the contrary, our objective is very much to engage more audiences in a different way that they might find more appealing. When you see a Van Gogh in high definition with some subtle animation, you see every single brushstroke in detail.
Combining this with our evocative audio score as well as aromas dispersed across the gallery space, it’s a great opportunity to experience art and connect with creative culture in a completely new way.
Talk to us about the multi-sensory elements of the show – how did you and your team go about bringing that idea to life? We have a very talented in-house team of creative designers, motion graphic experts, graphic designers, and skilled audio-visual production managers who have all contributed to take my idea from concept stage through to final execution and help realise the vision I had.
THE LUME’s unique technology combines multichannel motion graphics, cinema quality surround sound, up to 140 high-definition projectors and selected aromas that evoke a connection with the subject matter to provide one of the most exciting multi-sensory environments in the world. These all work in unison to gift the audience with an amplified outcome from their experience.
You’ve taken immersive experiences to a whole new level – what technologies are coming, or do you hope will be available soon? Watch this space! We are constantly researching new technologies and techniques, continually innovating, improving, and enhancing our exhibition experiences. Whatever path we decide to take next we will always ensure they remain shared experiences that engage, entertain, and educate visitors on a global scale.
Van Gogh, The LUME Melbourne’s inaugural multi-sensory experience, will open in Spring 2021. Tickets are on sale now via Ticketmaster.com.au.