Simply stunning.

That’s the new art installation at York St Mary’s.

Black-out blinds and a dozen projectors have transformed the former church into a stunning projected gallery of Vincent Van Gogh’s most famous works, as Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience enjoys its UK première.

The exhibition provides a new perspective on Van Gogh’s works, taking the original paintings and projecting them onto walls, screens and even the roof of the building, but with a twist.

Wheat sways in the breeze, water pours out of the confines of the painting’s frame, and the stars twirl and swirl in the night sky, as digital animation brings the paintings to life.

Remarkably engaging

Photograph: Danny Lawson / PA Wire
Mario Iacampo, the creative mind from Exhibition Hub behind the installation, who worked with digital animators at Dirty Monitor to create the mesmerising displays.

She said:

  • This is a remarkably engaging way of adding a new dimension to some of the finest and most famous paintings of the 19th century – a gallery displaying over 200 of Van Gogh’s best-known works, where the paintings come alive before your eyes.

    We designed the exhibition specifically to work best in old church buildings, where the high ceilings facilitate large-scale projection, and the stone walls become part of the canvas.

Photograph: Charlotte Graham

The central nave of St Mary’s houses a 35 minute immersive display, with the carpeted floor filled with deckchairs, so that visitors can enjoy the displays seated, stood or even lying down as the images move on the walls around them.

Those inspired by what they have seen can show off their own artistic skills in a hands-on art zone, located in the far aisle. A range of child-friendly art materials and paper is available, with the finished results for artists of all ages and skills projected onto the wall to generate a visitor gallery.

An optional extra to the visit (additional charge of £3 per person applies) is a remarkable virtual reality experience, where VR headsets take visitors to Arles, where they become immersed in eight works that he completed there to spend a day with Van Gogh.

Prices and times

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It will open daily throughout the summer from 10am, closing at 6pm Sunday to Wednesday, 7pm on Friday and Saturday and 8pm on Thursdays.

Last entry is one hour before closing, and visits take approximately one hour. York St Mary’s is located in Castlegate, with easy access from the Coppergate Centre, next to JORVIK Viking Centre.

Pre-booked tickets for timed slots are available for slots from Saturday 6 July.

Admission prices are £13 for adults, £11 for concessions and students and £9 for children.

Family tickets are available for £38.00 (two adults and two children). For more information, please visit vangoghexpo.co.uk