Newcastle has pulled off the art heist of the century, set to host Australia’s first regional edition of Van Gogh Alive.
The multi-sensory experience features more than 3,000 high-definition images of the Dutch artist’s work and to date has mesmerised 8.5 million people worldwide.
Headlining Newcastle’s 2022 New Annual Festival, the display will be housed in a 2,300 square-metre gallery – called the Grand Pavillion – at Foreshore Park.
Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said attracting Van Gogh Alive is a coup for Newcastle that will enhance the city’s reputation for hosting world-class events while boosting the local economy by attracting thousands of visitors.
“The versatility of Foreshore Park ensures we’re able to attract major events such as this unique immersive experience in Newcastle, which will attract an influx of visitors to our city at a time when the local tourism industry needs it most and as local operators and businesses recover from the pandemic,” Cr Nelmes said.
Local artist James Drinkwater described Van Gogh, who was his favourite painter as a child, as being in the pantheon of the greats, and welcomed the opportunity to see the show in Newcastle.
He said it marked a cultural coming of age for the city and believes the event will make art more accessible to the wider community.
“This event is a marker of the times and acts as a conduit between the wonderful and complex social spectrum of Newcastle,” James said.
Newcastle will host Van Gogh Alive from 21 September until 23 October at Foreshore Park, while the New Annual program will run from 23 September to 2 October throughout the city.
Further information about City of Newcastle’s flagship cultural festival is available at newannual.com and ticket information for Van Gogh Alive is available at vangoghalive.com.au