Illuminate Festival | Van Gogh Alive Exhibition Review | Grand Pavilion, North Adelaide

Hi all

Winter is here and what better way to spend the cold nights at the Illuminate Festival. The Illuminate Festival is held in Adelaide from 16 July to 1 August 2021. It’s where the city of Adelaide will light up. It features Van Gogh Alive from 1 July – 22 August, Light Creatures at Adelaide Zoo from 8 July – 1 August, then City Lights from 16 July – 1 August and Light Cycles at Adelaide Botanic Gardens from 15 July – 1 August.

I recently went to Van Gogh Alive at the Grand Pavilion in North Adelaide. Vincent Van Gogh is probably one of the most underrated painters in history so it was lovely to see an exhibition like Van Gogh Alive showcasing his masterpieces like the Starry Night and Sunflowers. He is probably one of my favourite painters of all time with his painting the Starry Night being my favourite painting ever.

As you walk along O’Connell St, you will feel excitement as you see his artworks on the walls of the building. You have to check-in using the QR code but masks are not mandatory. You will be greeted by the cafe on the left and an introduction to the experience and the painter on the right with the sponsor Lexus in the middle as well as the merchandise. It’s best to start from the beginning of Van Gogh’s bedroom.

The first room that we went in was the Starry Night where you will see pretty lights hanging down from the ceiling with the starry night painting on the walls. It was very pretty and a wonderful opportunity to take photos. It’s best to go with someone who will take photos for you and wouldn’t mind doing so.

After about 15 minutes taking photos in the Starry Night room, we then went into the main arena where you have a very spacious room filled with LED screens showcasing a 360 degree view slideshow of Van Gogh’s artworks. It was very creative and well thought out the exhibition. You could sit on the floor or move to different areas of the room for a different angle. We came in the middle of the slideshow so we stayed and sat in a different area of the room to watch the beginning of the slideshow so you can literally sit there for hours and take it all in. You will feel all relaxed as it is in sync with beautiful classical music taking you back in time to the post-impressionist era. The only thing that ruined it though was the Lexus ad and it would have been better if there was different session times for the viewing so we can see from start to finish in one go.

Once we saw the whole thing, we went into the room full of Sunflowers where it feels like you are in a field of Sunflowers. It was very well designed and I would go again if I could. Tickets were $45 for adults but can upgrade the ticket to a package., which I wish I did. I also regret not trying the cafe as the desserts looked so pretty but it was a bit expensive so we went somewhere else for dessert.

O’Connell St has lots of cafes and restaurants so you wouldn’t go hungry. We went to Chocolate-tree for dessert, which was only a 3 minute walk away from the Grand Pavilion. It’s definitely nothing like I have ever seen before . It’s been in 60 cities and has over 3,000 images of Van Gogh’s artwork. I highly recommend Van Gogh Alive as it’s worth the money and it’s a once in a lifetime event so definitely worth going to.

Overall, I rate it 4.5 out of 5 stars.

What did you think of Van Gogh Alive? And what is your favourite painting from Van Gogh?

Love Nat xx

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