Last week I had the pleasure of returning to Melbourne after an absence of several years. It was so lovely to be back. Two nights wasn’t long enough to do all I wanted to do but on the recommendation of a friend I dropped in to see THE LUME Melbourne’s Van Gogh exhibition. Located in the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre it is wonderfully wheelchair accessible.
THE LUME Melbourne – Van Gogh – accessible Melbourne
THE LUME Melbourne is the Southern Hemisphere’s first permanent digital gallery. While I love traditional galleries, I think digital exhibitions make art accessible to those who may be less engaged by a picture hanging in a gallery. This is no doubt controversial in art circles but when I see how engaged Braeden is by these digital exhibitions, not to mention the many babies and children enthralled by this one, I can see the benefits. Personally I find the multi-sensory experience mesmerising and relaxing.
Walking through the doors of the art space visitors are immersed in the world of Vincent Van Gogh with his masterpieces illuminating every surface. Digital projections sweep across the floor like the brush strokes of a paintbrush. The addition of music and gentle scents makes multi-sensory story telling at its best.
Various quotes from Vincent Van Gogh are interspersed with the images which gives an insight into the man behind the paintings and the trials he faced as an unappreciated artist in his lifetime. It would be wonderful if he could see how successful he became and the various ways his art is now appreciated.
What makes this exhibition different to the ones I’ve visited in Sydney is the interactive element. Visitors are welcome participate in a video-led drawing class (included in the admission price). Everyone seemed to be following along and producing nice pieces of art but one little rebel artist was embracing her individualism and was going totally rogue drawing lovely stick people instead of a Starry Night.
Wandering through the sunflower-filled room is popular. The key is to seeing this without the crowds is to do this while everyone is watching the projections. It’s a stunning room.
Accessibility at THE LUME Melbourne
THE LUME Melbourne’s permanent home is the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, located in the heart of Melbourne in the South Wharf precinct (enter via South Wharf main entry). This is like no other art gallery offering digital projections an expansive 3,000 square metre and 11 metre high to best showcase Van Gogh’s art work. There is no time limit so you can stay and enjoy the experience for as long as you like. Level access is provided throughout and on the day I visited there were plenty of toddlers in prams and a few wheelchair users soaking up the art.
There’s no need to leave THE LUME if you get peckish or need the bathroom with both located within the exhibition. A unisex stand-alone accessible bathroom is available.
For anyone sensitive to scents, please note the following maybe experienced during your visit – Nutmeg, Cardamom, Cypress, Vetiver, Lemon, Cedarwood, Wood Accord, Sandalwood, Amber and Musk. ScentAir, the company we have engaged to curate the aromas for the Van Gogh experience, only use synthetic oils derived from natural ingredients. All of ScentAir’s oils are tested to the highest available standards and they are the only scent company in the world to be a member of IFRA.
If you have epilepsy which is triggered by strobing lights you may wish to chat to staff before attending to see if this experience is right for you.
THE LUME Melbourne’s Van Gogh experience is currently running until mid-2022. I decided to visit spontaneously so I purchased tickets at the door but you can book via THE LUME website.
I highly recommend THE LUME Melbourne and the Van Gogh experience. I loved being transported into the magical world of Van Gogh in a new and immersive way.