It was with much excitement that guests arrived at the highly anticipated launch of Monet In Paris. This interactive art experience is a feast for the senses that will light up our Brisbane winter until August 6. Brought to Queensland by the clever team behind the fabulous Van Gogh Experience, this multi- sensory exhibition focuses on the work of Claude Monet and a raft of Impressionist painters.
It’s no secret that I am a fan of anything French and this spectacle did not disappoint. The moon was full and as flamboyant as the art as we walked in to the purpose built Le Grand Palais, located in Brisbane’s North Shore Precinct at Hamilton. Sipping on wine and delicious canapés from Le Bistro I felt I had been transported to the salons of Paris. We strolled through the Artist’s Square familiarising ourselves with the many artists whose work would be on display. Monet, of course, but other painters like Toulouse Lautrec, Cezanne, Delacroix and Degas and his beautiful ballerinas.
Walking through the wisteria covered walkways we discovered a wonderland of light, florals and sound in every direction. It was hard to know where to look. Soon we ventured into the delightful world of these 19 th century artists where the french music, images and light transported us to the delights of a bohemian French café lifestyle, the ballet and cabarets and the bustling streets of Paris, before being soothed by the calm delights of the French countryside. It was joyous to see the delight in the children’s faces as they watched this spectacle unfurl before them.
Many works you will recognise but some will introduce Brisbanites to Impressionist art that they may have never seen, opening up a whole new world of beauty. This style of colourful, vibrant and spellbinding art celebrated a new era in French painting, a more modern style that was in great contrast to the former more sombre and moody art that came before.
Impressionist artists are passionate about light and many began painting outside, en plein air, which captured the colour and light so beautifully. Many paintings would be done again and again trying to capture the scene and changing light at different times of the day. It was wonderful to see these progressions illuminated in size. I loved seeing a giant version of “Lady With A Parasol” by Monet which has also adorned the walls of my home since an early wedding anniversary.
As you leave don’t forget to have your photo taken on the bridge at Giverny. This famous scene is based on Monet’s real life home in Giverny, where he became so fascinated by his beautiful garden that he vowed to never leave. My artist friend Donna has actually painted in the garden by special request and if you are in Paris I urge you to head to L’ Orangerie and the fabulous Musee Marmottan Monet in the 16 th to see some of the best examples of French Impressionism, along with the famous Musee D’Orsay, of course.
For visitors there are plenty of beautiful spots for photos which will light up your instagram. It was also fun to have my portrait painted in the Impressionist style at one of the booths dotted outside. It really made the night so memorable. I felt like I’d been transported to the streets of Paris for the night by this 360 – degree immersion into the delights that only France can offer. It really had my husband and I excited for our trip to France later in the year.
Monet In Paris is truly a must see experience and looking around the eclectic crowd the exhibition was delighting guests of all ages and stages. This exhilarating wonderland of visual delights is on from June 7. Gather your friends and family to experience a wonderful trip to Paris without the expensive airfares. C’est si bon.
Freelance writer, wife and mother of three sons, occasional supply teacher and aspiring romance author, Michelle Beesley can be most often found in a coffee shop chatting with friends or beside a rugby field cheering on her favourite teams.
Michelle is a prolific—albeit reluctant—traveller, keen walker, bookworm and yoga enthusiast who loves anything pink or sparkly (including champagne!).