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Illustration by Noureen Elsayed

Interactive exhibit Beyond Van Gogh to use creative techniques in installation

By Noureen Elsayed, April 26 2021—

Van Gogh has and will always be my favourite artist. As an artist myself, the first basic knowledge of painting I learned was due to my observations of his most famous paintings. For example, his use of colour theory where his famous use of “complementary colours” comes to play. This means he chooses the opposite colours of the color wheel — warm colours compliment cold colours like yellow compliments purple, for example. This technique uses complimentary colors when trying to make an object or person stand out from the rest of the painting.

His style is also very unique. He packs his brush with paint instead of using long strokes or blended lines. This creates small streaks like pixel art. He was the first to invent this sort of style using paint and detailing to the extent where his work was immediately identified. Most of the reason why his art is very unique is because he was the only artist to master a painting technique that requires patience and focus whereas others usually block in their main colors and blend them together — that is how you can tell Van Gogh from other artists.

Beyond Van Gogh is a beautiful exhibit created for art enthusiasts and families. French-Canadian Director Mathieu St- Arnard and his team worked to bring this exhibit to life. It was designed in an aesthetic manner that not necessarily forces the attendee to participate in the composition, but creates a “capture” effect instead in the composition and story of over 300 paintings Van Gogh created naturally. The curator has succeeded in engaging the attendees by building exceptionally large opaque walls and floor. Sometimes the ground is glossy to create a reflective surface and this brings in the excellent quality of the projectors to enlarge the image to fit the canvas — which are the walls in this case — and adds a few motion animations in the image to move on to the next image subtly and interactively like a cutscene in a movie.

Instead of a basic PowerPoint-like presentation, the curator adds a little motion for the attendee to feel how the painting might feel if it were real — an excellent trick used to artifice the mind into thinking the setting is real by using basic animatic tricks that are used very professionally. The duration of the exhibit states the visit will take about an hour, which is most likely due to COVID-19 safety regulations.

The location will be at McMahon Stadium, which is very spacious and is expected to have limited numbers to create safe distancing. Tickets are non-refundable once purchased, however, you can change the date of your attendance on the tickets. The tickets range from $35.69 – $105, depending on the suitable description that fits the attendees — for example, children four and below earn a free entry, while groups may pay around $35 – $45.

The exhibit is wheelchair accessible and service animals are permitted on the premises. All cameras are allowed — you can find more details on their website and you can also email them with any further questions at hello@calgaryvangogh.com.

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