March marks the UK’s 12-month anniversary of lockdowns and social distancing.

That’s a full year without experiencing the joys of a gallery and intrigue of a new exhibition. Facing the challenges of a global pandemic, art shows and galleries have been forced to adapt, innovate and overcome.

A few weeks ago we discussed a rise in virtual exhibitions, and whether they signified innovation or desperation from the creative industries.

Just when we thought they couldn’t possibly get more creative, the world of art has seemingly taken it one step further with the recent rapid emergence of immersive art shows.

But what exactly is an immersive art show? 303 Magazine describes them as ‘the creation of a world around the person in a way that makes them feel part of and inside of it.’

This can be anything from illusory world-building, to simply including a piece of interactivity in a traditional art show.

The latest immersive art craze was caused by an unlikely culprit, Netflix’s original show Emily In Paris.

Emily In Paris is a tween series all about life for Emily Cooper (played by Lily Collins) in France’s capital. In one episode we see the show’s leading lady Emily Cooper visit an immersive Van Gogh exhibit with her new French friends.

The show’s Van Gogh featuring episode led to what can only be described as a ‘frenzy’ for immersive Van Gogh experiences.

Companies scrambled to meet the audience demand, and put on immersive art shows centred around Van Gogh for impatient Emily In Paris fans.

If you’re one such fan seeking your very own immersive Vincent Van Gogh experience, check out the London Van Gogh Expo.

Emily In Paris isn’t the only franchise dipping their toes into the waters of immersive art, The V&A’s new Alice In Wonderland exhibition has been described as ‘an immersive visual bonanza’.

Is this a passing fad? Or could immersive Art shows be the future?

What exactly is it that audiences love so much about immersive art?

I think the magic of immersive art shows is their ability to bring creativity to life. Art exhibitions can create virtually surrealistic experiences that engage an audience far beyond Art connoisseurs and appraisers.

The appeal is huge, from old to young, immersive exhibitions provide an engaging new experience for all walks of life.

Immersive exhibitions pull us in and allow us to view art in ways never seen before.

From 360 degree projections, 15,000 ft screens to the incorporation of virtual reality, immersive art exhibitions are a futuristic experience even ‘Back To The Future’ couldn’t have imagined.

So if we’re pondering whether immersive art shows are fad or fantastic, I would strongly side with the latter.

Written By: Jessica Rowe

Posted in: Art