The Vincent van Gogh Foundation in Etten-Leur administers the church where Vincent’s father used to preach, and where Vincent himself sat in the pews. The Foundation asked us to create an experience around Vincent’s stay in Etten-Leur as part of the Van Gogh year 2015.
Vincent spent only a good eight months in the village of Etten. This part of his life, even though it covers only a short period, is a stunning and classic tale. This is how it goes. In 1881, Vincent arrives at his parental home in Etten, penniless and down and out. Nine months later, he moves on – as a painter. But many things happen in that period … budding artistry, hard work, falling in love, clashing characters, conflict, apotheosis.
All ideal ingredients if you want to captivate an audience with a good story. That is exactly what we have done in the Van Gogh Church. Using a medium to suit a church: windows. On the windows, we applied illustrations with a stained-glass effect. An audio-visual production in the form of a triptych has been set up in the front section of the church to tell Vincent’s story of Etten. Narrative information panels and old artefacts from Vincent’s time complete the exhibition.