Perfectly placed half-way between Edinburgh and London and with the Yorkshire Dales, North York Moors and Wolds on the doorstep, York is unlike any other English city.


From the ancient walls of Roman York to the Viking remains of JORVIK and the grandeur of Georgian York, offering more attractions per square mile than any other destination in the UK, you’re never far from one of York’s awe inspiring offerings.

“The history of York is the history of England” (King George VI)
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Step into 2,000 years of history. The Romans knew it as Eboracum and the Vikings called it Jorvik. There’s the iconic York Minster and architecture from medieval times, its magnificent Georgian town houses and its Victorian railway station. Within its ancient, encircling walls, York’s medieval streets and buildings are beautifully preserved in the historic heart of the city. Shambles is a must-visit, as one of the most recognised historic streets in England, often referred to as the best-preserved medieval street in Europe.

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Woman taking picture of projected artworkSaturday 6th July 2019 Picture Credit Charlotte Graham Pictures Shows Showtime for Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience’s UK première in York From Saturday 6 July 2019 to Sunday 5 January 2020 Black-out blinds and dozens of projectors have transformed the normally light and airy former church, York St Mary’s into a stunning projected gallery of Vincent Van Gogh’s most famous works, as Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience enjoys its UK première for its public opening this Saturday, 6 July. The exhibition provides a new perspective on Van Gogh’s works, taking the original paintings and projecting them onto walls, screens and even the roof of the building, but with a twist – wheat sways in the breeze, water pours out of the confines of the painting’s frame, and the stars twirl and swirl in the night sky, as digital animation brings the paintings to life. “This is a remarkably engaging way of adding a new dimension to some of the finest and most famous paintings of the 19th century – a gallery displaying over 200 of Van Gogh’s best-known works, where the paintings come alive before your eyes,” explains Mario Iacampo, the creative mind from Exhibition Hub behind the installation, who worked with digital animators at Dirty Monitor to create the mesmerising displays. “We designed the exhibition specifically to work best in old church buildings, where the high ceilings facilitate large-scale projection, and the stone walls become part of the canvas.” For anyone thinking that it would be difficult to cram 200 paintings into York St Mary’s, digital projection brings the paintings to you. The central Nave houses a 35 minute immersive display, with the carpeted floor filled with deckchairs, so that visitors can enjoy the displays seated, stood or even lying down as the images move on the walls around them. The immersive nave is no doubt the highlight of the experience, but there are a number of other parts to the exhibition. From the entrance – opposite Castle Fine Art just off Castlegate – visitors explore the work and style of Van Gogh, including how he first started painting, including sketches, notes and correspondence with his brother. His works are animated, with water flowing out of the virtual frame, interplay between characters within paintings, and an exploration of Van Gogh’s use of perspective in his works, with optical illusions eventually revealing the painting’s true form. Anyone familiar with Van Gogh’s 1889 work ‘Bedroom at Arles’, which shows where he stayed for 14 months in the Provence countryside, will be able to step inside the painting – the room has been recreated within the church. Those inspired by what they have seen can show off their own artistic skills in a hands-on art zone, located in the far aisle. A range of child-friendly art materials and paper is available, with the finished results for artists of all ages and skills projected onto the wall to generate a visitor gallery. An optional extra to the visit (additional charge of £3 per person applies) is a remarkable virtual reality experience, where VR headsets take visitors to Arles, where they become immersed in eight works that he completed there to spend a day with Van Gogh. From waking in his bedroom, to exploring the farmhouse and its rural setting, visitors watch the sun rise and set through the eyes of the artist. It will open daily throughout the summer from 10.00am, closing at 6pm Sunday to Wednesday, 7pm on Friday and Saturday and 8pm on Thursdays. Last entry is one hour before closing, and visits take approximately one hour. York St Mary’s is located in Castlegate, with easy access from the Coppergate Centre, adjacent to JORVIK Viking Centre. Pre-booked tickets for timed slots are available for slots from Saturday 6 July. Admission prices are £13.00 for adults, £11.00 for concessions and students and £9.00 for children. Family tickets are available for £38.00 (two adults and two children). For more information, please visit ENDS Photographs: Photographs by Charlotte Graham will be available in our online press room by mid- morning on 4 July 2019. Visit to download. For further media information or photographs, please contact: Jay Commins Pyper York Limited Tel: 01904 500698 Email: Timeline of his life 1853 1869 1873 1875 1877 1878-1879 1880 1882 1883-1885 1886-1887 1888 1889 1890 July 1890 About Van Gogh Vincent van Gogh is born in Groot-Zundert in the southern Netherlands. Aged 16, he is an apprentice in his uncle’s art gallery, Goupil & Cie, in the Hague. He is transferred to the London branch of Goupil & Cie. He becomes interested in religion. He is transferred to Paris, then laid off by Goupil & Cie a year later. He disagrees with treating art as a commodity. Van Gogh begins studying theology in Amsterdam. He joins an evangelist mission in Borinage, Belgium. He begins his career as an artist in Brussels. He studies watercolours in the Netherlands with the painter Anton Mauve and produces his first paintings. He lives in Nuenen where his work as a painter reflects an interest in everyday scenes. Van Gogh meets the impressionist painters in Paris. Van Gogh moves to Arles and shares a home with Gauguin for a few months. The artist is confined to the mental hospital in Saint-Rémy. For the first and only time in his life, he sells a painting: The Red Vineyard. Vincent van Gogh takes his own life in Auvers-sur-Oise, THE EARLY DAYS (1853-1868) Born in 1853 in Groot-Zundert, the Netherlands, Vincent van Gogh had a humble upbringing. The eldest of six children, he received a traditional religious education from his devout father, a village pastor. Serious and a thinker by nature, young Vincent was a good pupil. However, he didn’t stay in school for long due to his parents’ financial struggles. BIRTH OF AN ARTIST (1880-1885) During his stay in Borinage, van Gogh told his brother of his desire to be a painter. His brother encouraged him to pursue this and promised to support him financially. In 1880, he returned to Brussels and taught himself different artistic techniques, as well as perspective and anatomy. He produced a number of drawings during this period, and wanted to master and perfect the technique. Before turning to painting, he thought about making a living by becoming an illustrator and reproduced numerous works of renowned artists. The following year, he enrolled at the Academy of Fine Arts, but failed the exams and was forced to return to the Netherlands due to a lack of money. This disjointed journey, often interrupted by existential crises, nonetheless did not prevent him from persevering and, following the advice of his cousin the painter Anton Mauve, eventually producing his first watercolour paintings, followed by oil paintings. From 1883 to 1885, while living with his parents in Nuenen, the artist worked relentlessly. He had by then truly mastered the technique and could experiment with a more personal world. In his small studio, he produced hundreds of drawings and sketches and painted almost 200 canvasses, often inspired by everyday rural scenes. This period was marked by sombre colours and a certain realism, as depicted in his very first masterpiece: The Potato Eaters (1885). However, while van Gogh may have found his artistic direction, he still experienced hard living conditions. Following the death of his father, the lack of money saw him leave Holland to settle in Antwerp, where he enrolled in the Academy. This city is where he discovered the works of Rubens and Japanese prints, an experience that saw him become aware of the importance of colour. ENCOUNTERS AND LIBERATION OF GENIUS (1886-1888) In 1886, van Gogh moved in with his brother Theo in Paris. As director of the French branch of Goupil & Cie, Theo was pioneering the evolutions under way on the Parisian art scene and was keen to introduce his brother to the impressionist painters. On meeting them, van Gogh’s painting became clearer, soon displaying vivid colours applied with lively, fragmented strokes. In the process, he also experimented with other subjects such as portraits, still lifes and everyday urban scenes. His art gradually moved away from impressionist conventions towards a world of unparalleled colour prevalence, where material effects blended with a play of complementary colours. Van Gogh’s time in Arles was pivotal in the new direction he was heading in. During this time, exhausted by Parisian life, he set up in Provence in a place he would nickname the yellow house. Captivated by the light and beauty of the region’s landscapes, he was bursting with inspiration and in just a few months produced more than 200 paintings, many of them masterpieces. At the beginning of winter, Gauguin joined him for the “Studio of the South”, a project designed by van Gogh and his brother to get artists to work together in the South. But living together did not go smoothly. Van Gogh, whose mental health was already unbalanced, found it hard to cope with their artistic divergences and Gauguin’s haughty attitude towards him. DEADLY FRENZY (1889-1890) One night, where their quarrels forced Gauguin to spend the night at a hotel, van Gogh suffered a moment of insanity and cut his earlobe off. The following morning, he was admitted to hospital in a serious condition. After being discharged, he went back to painting, but the spectre of another episode of madness saw him voluntarily sectioned in the mental hospital in Saint- Rémy for a few months. While his mental health may have been unstable, this period was in fact his most creative when looking at his entire collection of works. He painted relentlessly, producing almost 150 pain- tings in one year, alongside a large number of drawings. The representations, although always inspired by the landscapes and environment surrounding him, offered at the time an imaginary, almost virtual, view of the world. Always helped by his brother, some of his works started being exhibited in Paris, then Brussels. In 1890, he even sold his first painting, The Red Vineyard (1888). Convinced of the genius of van Gogh, Theo suggested he set up his own business. Living in Auvers-sur-Oise with his brother and sister-in- law, the artist thought he would be able to do this. However, this risk-taking saw him rapidly plunge into a state of high anxiety, despite regular check-ups by Doctor Gachet, also a collector, who had become his friend. On 27 July 1890, his anguish reached such high levels that he shot himself in the stomach. He died two days later as a result of his wound, age 37. St Mary's Church, Castlegate, York YO1 9RN Van Gogh -The Immersive Experience Meet the artist like never before; visitors can step inside the paintings, world and mind of Van Gogh.