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Beyond Van Gogh – PSS Day Trip

On the 27th of June the Exhibition Centre Liverpool played host to Beyond Van Gogh, a spectacular immersive experience that breathed life into his legendary paintings.

PSS Day Trips was lucky enough to have a chance to visit this exhibition which saw 300 of Van Gogh’s masterpieces freed from their frames, flooding the room, from floor to ceiling, with his vivid colour and creativity.

PSS Day Trip attendee Paul Dooley narrates for us his own experience and enjoyment of the event.

A bit about Vincent Van Gogh

Nature – and its healing power – is centred in Van Gogh’s work. His earlier paintings show the true beauty of the land - and those who work on it - and how you can reconnect oneself through the sublimity of nature. Van Gogh also worked on many portraits, as he believed it portrayed the essence of who a person was. He considered portraits to be one of the highest forms of art.

Van Gogh spent time in England, he loved British culture, and this lasted all his life and even contributed to this style and subject matter of his art. It’s amazing that Van Gogh created 900 paintings in just 10 years. During his life Van Gogh had concerns for the hardships of the working people, and he struggled himself, in fact his staples were just coffee, cigarettes and bread.

With all his self – portraits, it is safe to say that Van Gogh was a pioneer of the selfie!

Our PSS Day Trip

Van Gogh’s life was just as fascinating as his art – so I was eagerly anticipating my trip to the Beyond Van Gogh exhibition at the Exhibition Centre Liverpool.

I met PSS Day Trips inside the foyer of the Exhibition Centre where I was introduced to a mixed group of adults. From here, we made our way with Wellbeing Practitioner Claire to a art gallery of illuminated quotes by Vincent Van Gogh.

We followed a trail that led us to an unseen entrance where a massive canvas of his work was cascading down the walls onto the floor. The projection was in 3D, from start to finish, when you’re stood amongst the art you felt like you had become a part of the exhibition.

The PSS Day Trip group joined other members of the public in a big room where we watched Van Gogh’s creations in motion. The experience left an eternal impression on you that you will recapture forever.

I, myself, am a painter. I create abstract art and I have found it helpful for my recovery through trauma. Art has this affect; it is a great healer which has many therapeutic benefits and Van Gogh appreciated this too. Art is such an important way of expressing yourself, and for Van Gogh – who suffered from mental health all his life – he captured his moods in his work.

I would like to thank the PSS Wellbeing Centres for allowing me to write this piece, and for all the different classes, like relaxation, which I really benefit from. I believe there are so many benefits to trips out like this, it is good for healing and meeting others.


Thank you PSS Wellbeing Centres!

Paul Dooley


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