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Inside Look · Van Gogh and the Seasons

Art

Lucy Feagins
Monday 1st May 2017

Did you know that Dulux supply paint for all the major exhibitions at the National Gallery of Victoria? YEP, every big show, from The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier, to Andy Warhol and Ai Weiwei, David Hockney and now Van Gogh, is presented with a backdrop of rich Dulux colour.

As someone who also works closely with Dulux on various projects each year, it dawned on me recently that this is a story worth telling.

So, with Dulux’ support, we recently found ourselves behind the scenes during the design and installation stages of the NGV’s latest Winter Masterpieces exhibition – Van Gogh and the Seasons. WOW! What an experience.

It was quite surreal to film the final sections of this video last week, standing inside a vast, empty gallery, up close with the largest collection of Van Gogh artworks to ever travel to Australia. It was also truly mind boggling to gain an understanding of the logistics required to stage a show on this scale. (Did you know every single painting travels with its own minder/chaperone, who supervises every aspect of its journey until it is safely hanging on the wall?!).

As NGV exhibition designer Ingrid Rhule explains, for this show, a pared back colour palette was a key part of her design approach.  Keen to complement rather than distract from the vivid colours in Van Gogh’s works, the resulting exhibition layout and design utilises a series of different greys, one for each season.

We hope this little film offers a unique insight into the making of this historic exhibition, and the transformative effects of colour.

This film has been produced in collaboration with our amazing video partners, SIRAP, with photographs by Caitlin Mills.

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The Design Files acknowledge the traditional custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

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