On stacks of shipping containers on Wellington’s waterfront, Vincent van Gogh’s famous Sunflowers painting bursts into brilliant colour under a dark night sky.
It’s part of a dazzling digital show that brings fine art to the masses with a touch of industrial funk.
No canvases, picture hooks, security alarms – this is a very modern way to take in the Dutch artist’s masterpieces.
The 52 shipping containers, weighted down by concrete and water, are placed in hexagon-like shape and 21 projectors are used to beam the incredible works onto the walls.
The show is the creation of the Melbourne company, Grande Exhibitions. It’s visited 50 different cities and is one of the most popular exhibitions of its kind in the world.
The event in Wellington is unique as it’s the first time it’s been held under an open sky.
The show starts with van Gogh’s early muddier-toned work, then it bursts into the bright palate he’s so well known for. All the crowd favourites are there: Irises, Café Terrace at Night and The Starry Night.
Vincent van Gogh created more than 2000 artworks in the space of about a decade. But he only gained recognition after he took his life at the age of 37. His work still inspires 130 years on.
"There's brush strokes and details. You know it's a maximum impact to be able to see those details in such a large scale, it's a real treat," said Bridget Carpenter, who worked on the production team.
Patrons 1 NEWS spoke to said it was “uplifting” to be enjoying art outside in the time of Covid-19.
The Wellington council controlled organisation responsible for economic development said it hopes to sell 40,000 tickets over the two months the show is running. A third of those sales are expected to be from out of towners.
WellingtonNZ Events General Manager, Warrick Dent, said it would bring in “millions of dollars” to the Wellington economy.