‘I want to paint what I feel and feel what I paint’
Letter to Anthon van Rappard | 18 August 1885
An immersive projection space transports visitors to a wheatfield in northern France, which gently moves in the breeze. Suddenly a gunshot rings
out. The field transforms to his last paintings of the same scene. Vincent has shot himself. A series of flashbacks from his early life play out, leading to his decision to become an artist.
‘I don’t yet see in my drawings what I wanted to have in them… Making
headway is a kind of miner’s labor that doesn’t go as guiding as one would wish’
Letter to Theo | 11 March 1883
This gallery transforms through light, projection and sound, moving from landscapes and peasant life in the Netherlands to the streets and the café scene in Paris. Visitors pull up a seat at The Potato Eaters’ table in Nuenen,
or draw up a chair at Café. Tambourin in Montmartre, experiencing Vincent’s artistic struggles and early achievements.
‘I’ve never had such good fortune; nature here is extraordinarily beautiful.
Everything and everywhere’
Letter to Theo | 18 September 1888
The colours, sounds, smells and feel of the Provencal landscape surround visitors in a multisensory experience as they follow Vincent to Arles.
Laying back on a giant haystack, visitors look up as the sky changes above them and scenes around them pass through orchards in blossom to fields at harvest time. The brushstrokes of Vincent’s work are recreated at huge scale for a touch wall, and digital interactivity enables visitors to play with colour as he did.
‘So Gauguin’s coming; that will make a big change in your life. I hope that your efforts will succeed in making your house a place
where artists will feel at home’
Letter from Theo to Vincent | 19 October 1888
The façade of the Yellow House – Vincent’s studio looms over visitors.
Inside is a dramatic shadow play and sculptural installation. They experience Vincent’s hopes for an artistic colony in Arles and the company of friends, and then the bitter disappointments of arguments with Gauguin
and his complete breakdown.
‘I have a pent-up fury for work, and I think that this will contribute
to curing me’
Letter to Theo | 5 and 6 September 1888
Visitors step into Vincent’s paintings and drawings of the asylum at St Remy. They look through his window at the landscape beyond, hearing his words describe the struggle for recovery. They follow out and away, through the cypresses and olive groves of St Remy to the rolling hills of northern France where the story started. Here Vincent’s journey comes full circle,
ending with his friends memories of his death.
‘I can do nothing about it if my paintings don’t sell. The day will come, though, when people will see that they’re worth more than the cost of the paint and my susbsistence.’
Letter from Theo to Vincent| 19 October 1888
The visitors’ journey continues on to Vincent’s life after death as an incredible artistic inspiration and pop culture phenomenon - the first rock star artist. Projections build up with artists, musicians, directors and actors who
continue his legacy. Finally the hammer falls on the latest blockbuster sale of his work. Visitors end with a huge wall representing Vincent’s extraordinary artistic output in the ten short years he worked as an artist. They can pause to interact and explore his collected works.