Our son is such a sensory seeker. Early in his autism diagnosis, it was clear he was a seeker and not an avoider. He has a love of flashing lights and fast things. I had seen advertisements for the Van Gogh The Immersive Experience and I did wonder if it would be the perfect way to introduce Ethan to art. We were given invitations to visit Titanic The Exhibition and Van Gogh The Immersive Experience in London in exchange for reviews. This gave us the perfect chance to see what Ethan would think of the experience.
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What To Expect When Visiting Van Gogh The Immersive Experience?
This experience introduces you to Van Gogh’s world, his life and his art. This is done through text, video, displays and immersive art.
Van Gogh Art Displays
The first area you visit in this experience is full of art displays. Along with the displays is the story of Van Gogh’s life. There is information around the displays to read as well as a video to watch. This is where we discovered that they believe that Van Gogh was actually colour blind.
Some of Van Gogh’s art is also brought to life here in displays. His painting The Bedroom is one that is brought to life in a display.
The VR experience
If you want to step into Van Gogh’s world you can also do this virtually. This is done using Meta Quest headsets*. It gives you the chance to walk around Van Gogh’s world seeing it as perhaps he would have. His life was the inspiration for his paintings. If you purchase a standard ticket this experience is an additional cost. A VIP ticket includes this experience in the cost.
In this experience, you get the chance to create a display your own artwork. Choosing a pre-printed artwork from Van Gogh’s selection of paintings you can colour in your very own masterpiece. This is a lovely activity for both children and adults alike. When you are happy with your masterpiece you can scan in your creation. It then joins the display on the screen in the room. You can also place your artwork on the walls of the room adding it to the collection already there.
The Immersive Experience
This is the last room you enter during the experience. This is the room that fully comes alive with Van Gogh’s paintings. The paintings are projected onto the walls and also elements of the paintings on the floor. The walls morph into painting after painting moving and changing all of the time. You are free to sit, lay and stand in this area. However, you are comfortable fully immersing yourself in Van Gogh’s paintings.
In our video below you can see what we experienced during our visit.
Our Experience of Visiting Van Gogh The Immersive Experience
We really enjoyed our Van Gogh Immersive Experience. Ethan found parts of it different which I will explain below. This did mean we did have to split up into two groups. I found it very relaxing. I could have easily spent endless hours there watching the movement of the paintings.
There is a good mix of learning about Vincent van Gogh’s history and looking at all of his paintings. The experience is self-led so you can spend as much or as little time as you want there.
I must admit we adults didn’t try the VR experience. To be honest I have used my brother’s VR headset* at Christmas and I wasn’t a fan. It is really clever but I don’t like the feeling of it.
Did The Children Enjoy Visiting Van Gogh The Immersive Experience?
Little E really embraced this experience. It really took me by surprise and made our visit even better. She read every bit of information about Vincent van Gogh. Reading aloud for everyone to enjoy. I did try to get her to read to herself but being the independent little lady that she is there was no stopping her. She took the time to look at all of the paintings on display devouring all the information she could lay her eyes on.
Clearly, Little E is braver than us as she happily put on the VR headset* to enter the world of Van Gogh. She was below the advised age of 8 to use it but having used the headset before we knew she would be fine. We didn’t let Ethan try it as we aren’t sure how to explain VR to him. Little E explored the VR world for ages and was loving every minute of it.
Another area that Little E really enjoyed was the artist area. Selecting the art she wanted to work on did take some time. She spent ages creating her own masterpiece opting to complete it at home.
She did love seeing her work projected on the screen.
How Did Ethan Get On?
Ethan struggled in the areas that Little E embraced. He happily looked at the art but has he didn’t have any direction he wasn’t able to stay in these areas for that long. As we had split up into two groups we didn’t get the chance to take him into the artist area. I think he might have liked that but again he can’t sit still and concentrate for long periods of time. Ethan mainly spent his time in the final room, the full immersive experience. This is the room I knew he would love. Both he and Little E sat watching all of the projections. It is a projection on a loop so make sure you watch it all. I’m sure Ethan must have watched it a few times.
I’m so glad we took the children to visit the Van Gogh The Immersive Experience. We hope this is the start of visiting more museums. Discovering that Ethan can handle audio tours thanks to visiting Titanic The Exhibition will open the doors to visiting more museums than expected.
DISCLOSURE – We received tickets to Van Gogh The Immersive Experience as a gift. This was for the purposes of this post and to create our YouTube video. We always share our honest opinions, findings, beliefs, and experiences.